By Joe Roberts

17th Sep, 2023 | 10:10am

Stephen Craigan has never witnessed before what happened to Tom Lawrence in Rangers win v St Johnstone

Stephen Craigan admits he has “never seen such a change in a player” than Tom Lawrence’s performance for Rangers against St Johnstone.

Speaking on BBC Sportscene (16 September), Craigan claimed the Welshman was “anonymous” in the clash before the final 30 minutes, but his positional change brought out “the real Tom Lawrence”.

Rangers secured a much-needed victory at McDiarmid Park in a 2-0 victory on Saturday, with Lawrence providing the assist for Rabbi Matondo’s 79th-minute sealer.

Lawrence said: “It’s a fact that [Lawrence] runs forward. He just runs off midfield players, meaning he creates space for other people. I’ve never seen such a change in a player, in a game, as what I witnessed this afternoon with Tom Lawrence. He was anonymous for 60, 65 minutes.

“The minute he was in his natural position, that was the real Tom Lawrence. His shoulders went back, he believed in himself, he was fully aware of the space. His game management was better because he was completely in sync with where he wanted to be and I think he gave Rangers another dynamic.”


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Rangers needed a convincing victory to save Michael Beale from the chop. While not a breath-taking display, Beale’s boys did enough on the pitch to save his unemployment for another week.

Lawrence played wide in the opening hour at McDiarmid Park, proving quite unimpactful despite Rangers’ dominance in possession.

However, he shifted to the number 10 position after an hour or so where he had more opportunity to create chances and provide more of an attacking threat. In the forefront of his mind, Lawrence was probably worried about aggravating his Achilles injury that kept him out for nearly a year.

With his first start for over a year, the 29-year-old would have left Perth with his head held high. His defence-slicing pass was weighted to perfection before Matondo’s clinical finish sealed all three points for the Gers in his first full 90 minutes since returning from injury.

Onlooking fans, and Beale, may have been wondering what the scoreline could have been if Lawrence had played in his preferred position, but the three points were enough to muster some encouragement after the Old Firm defeat.

In other Rangers news, Todd Cantwell has broken his injury silence with a less-than-encouraging message to the fans.