Steven Gerrard working to get Nathan Patterson and James Tavernier in same team

Steven Gerrard (PA Wire)
14:13pm, Sun 18 Jul 2021
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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard will continue experimenting with plans to get right-backs Nathan Patterson and James Tavernier in his team at the same time.

Gerrard has major hopes for Patterson but the 19-year-old has had to be patient given skipper Tavernier’s form.

The teenager, who made his Scotland debut towards the end of their Euro 2020 campaign, came on at half-time at right-back as Rangers drew 2-2 with Arsenal on Saturday.

Tavernier moved forward into an attacking role before going off on the hour mark but Gerrard is prepared to tweak his system to get both players on the park.

“We are going to consider it because it’s two really good players but it’s not going to happen like a flick of a switch,” he told Rangers TV.

“It’s something we are going to have to work on it in training, they are going to have to get used to it. They are two fantastic players so I can’t have one of them on the bench for every game of the season, that’s for sure.

“There will be times when it will suit us, there will be times when I don’t need it, but it is something that is on my mind and it is something we will experiment with.

“If we use the system it will maybe be more in a back three or a 4-1-4-1 where James is more out wide, where he is used to being when he is at right-back.

“It’s a work in progress but it’s very early days.”

Gerrard is keen to have different tactical options anyway after employing the same system to good effect for most of his time in charge.

Rangers normally have three in midfield with two attackers supplementing a centre-forward in narrow positions, allowing the full-backs to move outside them.

But Gerrard is looking to be more flexible this season.

“Once everyone is back and once we have got the squad set, we are still looking to maybe add to it, I have to have the variety because some managers will try and stop this system,” he said.

“They have seen it for some years now. I might have to tweak something just to keep people thinking. I need to have the variety to adapt during the game. That’s where the players will need to be quite clever and listen to the information that we give them.”

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