Rangers striker Jermain Defoe has revealed that he has spoken with manager Steven Gerrard about managing his workload this season.
Gerrard has looked to avoid overworking Defoe, who is now 38-years-old and in his 21st season as a professional.
This has led to the former England man missing out on important European matches and being used off the bench.
Speaking ahead of the Gers League Cup tie with Falkirk on Sunday, Defoe said that after talking with Gerrard, he better understood his perspective.
“At first, it was one of those ones where you have to put your ego to the side a little bit and think about the bigger picture and why the manager is doing it,” he said (via The Scotsman).
“I asked ‘Is it going to help me in the long run?’. And I think it has. I can understand it. The manager will always be honest with me. A lot of the time, he looks at it and puts himself in the position of what could have helped him at the back end of his career.
“We speak on a level, to be honest. He asked me about it and I said it would help me because I train hard on a Wednesday – I do a power session in the gym after training – and I have the Thursday off my legs.”
Defoe has played less of a central role for Rangers this season, but he has impressed when called upon and offers valuable experience that the rest of the squad can learn from.
From six appearances in all competitions so far this season, he has scored two goals and provided one assist, with Alfredo Morelos and Kemar Roofe currently ahead of him in the pecking order (via WhoScored).
At 38 years of age, Defoe remains a viable option though and his presence allows Gerrard to rest some players after a tough Europa League match against Benfica on Thursday.
With the Bears looking to contend on three fronts this season, squad depth will be valuable and Gerrard is lucky to have such a committed professional like Defoe as a backup option.
In other Rangers news, one Gers star is ready for anything v Falkirk