Rangers winger Glenn Middleton is confident he has much more to deliver after netting on his first European start.
The 18-year-old seized the chance presented by Ryan Kent’s injury after setting up a goal, scoring another and delivering several dangerous balls from wide on the left in Thursday’s 4-3 Europa League defeat by Spartak Moscow.
Middleton has now scored four goals for Rangers despite only starting two games and he showed he can be more than an impact player.
Kent will also miss Sunday’s visit of Motherwell with a hamstring problem and Middleton is determined to make the most of any game time he gets.
The teenager said: “Obviously it meant a lot but at the same time it’s just a game of football. I just need to get on with it and show what I am capable of doing.
“I just need to take every chance wherever it comes. It’s obviously a massive disappointment for Ryan and the team because he has contributed so much to help us get to this stage in the Europa League. But hopefully I can try and do as well as he has so far.”
The former Norwich youth player has shown a maturity beyond his years after being catapulted into the first-team reckoning by Steven Gerrard.
“I just need to take it bit by bit,” he said. “I can’t get too overwhelmed with the stage that I’m performing on.
“I’m loving it. I have always said I am very grateful for the opportunities I am given. But I also think there’s a lot more to come from me personally once I get fully fit and I get going. With more minutes, hopefully there will be more to come.
“I’m in the team to score goals, create chances for others, and it’s pointless thinking otherwise. There is no need to be passive, I need to go for it whenever I get the chance and hopefully I have done that.”
It was a bitter-sweet night for Middleton after Rangers conceded two second-half goals in a minute to ensure Middleton’s strike ultimately counted for nothing.
The result blew Group G wide open with Spartak moving from the bottom above pre-match leaders Rangers, who face new table-toppers Villarreal at home next.
“It was very disappointing,” Middleton said. “We wanted to come here and get three points and to score three goals and come away with nothing is pretty gutting.
“But we can’t be too hard on ourselves. We have done ever so well to get to this position so far so I think we just switch our focus to the next couple of games coming up.
“It’s all to play for. We know what we need to do in the two games coming up. We need to win them, it’s as simple as that.”