Alex Lowry needs to be in the Rangers side because the first team players ahead of him haven’t been good enough, insists Michael Stewart.
After the Light Blues dropped more points from a 1-1 draw at St Mirren on Saturday he demanded to know where the teenage attacker is, having been missing from squads since the final Champions League group stage defeat.
With Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s job on the brink, Stewart singled out Scott Arfield and Steven Davis as players who can be trusted over underperforming Gers men, while flying the flag for Lowry to be given more opportunities.
Live on BBC Sportscene on Saturday night (12 November, 7.50pm) Stewart said: “There’s bigger questions to be posed at Rangers at the moment, in terms of you’ve got the likes of Steven Davis and that sitting on the bench.
“If you’re a manager and you’re trying to dig yourself out of trouble, for me you’re putting players in you can trust and you know are going to perform for you. Arfield’s another one that comes into that. These are guys who’ll get you results by dogged performances, and also quality.
“There’s too many players on that park who are just easy-osy, nothing really coming.
“Another one for me, I’ve talked a lot, is Alex Lowry. Where is he? He came off the bench against Ajax. He’s not been on the bench since.
“I’ve not seen what his performances are like in the B team, but I’ve seen the first team performances of players that are ahead of him and it’s not particularly good. There’s a youngster who I feel is ready and should be playing at first team level.
“You need to energise your side. Put somebody like that in your team, he’ll make something happen for you. These are the decisions that managers live and die by and unfortunately at the moment it’s a struggle for Rangers.”
Lowry burst onto the scene last winter, as that Rangers season started to unravel with some poor results after the break.
It immediately looked like the club might have a star of the future on their hands, yet he soon disappeared almost entirely for most of the season, until a few run outs at the end of the year.
He picked up a bad injury earlier this term playing for the B team when he arguably should never have even been there, but he is available now so Stewart’s question is valid.
Lowry has only made eight senior appearances for Rangers so far, and at no point have his performances suggested he can’t cope at this level, much less that he is far inferior to the senior options at his position.
Much has rightly been made of the fact the Bears are struggling for an attacking spark, and Lowry is the kind of player who can provide it.
It has come to something when Michael Stewart is raising valid suggestions for how to improve fortunes for the Gers, but the underuse of Lowry over the past year is a definite oversight.
There’s an argument for Arfield to be a more regular starter as well, since he features in every game one way or another, but whether Davis has the legs to do so is another matter, although given time on the ball against deep-lying opponents he can still help break down a defence.
Team selection seems to be just one of a myriad of issues currently for van Bronckhorst at Ibrox, and it is unclear whether he will get the chance to rectify them after the World Cup.