By James Murray

17th Sep, 2023 | 7:10pm

Tom Lawrence start demand made for Rangers clash v Real Betis as BBC Sportscene react

Stephen Craigan has demanded that Tom Lawrence start in the number 10 position for Rangers against Real Betis on Thursday (21 September).

Speaking on Sportscene on 16 September (1:13:16), the BBC pundit said that is where the 29-year-old can have the most influence on the game after he laid on an assist for Rabbi Matondo in the 2-0 victory over St Johnstone on Saturday.

It was the first time the Welsh attacking midfielder started a game since August 2022, having spent the best part of a year out with an Achilles injury.

“If he (Lawrence) is going to play on Thursday night against Real Betis, that’s where he’s got to play, as a number 10 rather than stuck out wide,” said Craigan.

“Yes, he can do a job, but surely you want a player to go and influence the game, create chances and hurt the opposition – that’s where he has to play.”


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There were some really promising signs on display from Lawrence against St Johnstone to suggest he can be a big player for Rangers this season.

Although he wasn’t too involved in the first half, he grew into the game as it went on and looked a real threat playing through the middle after the break.

As Craigan pointed out, the Welshman’s best position is undoubtedly in behind the strikers, picking pockets and playing balls in behind to the attackers in front of him.

After an injury-hit year, this could be the springboard the midfielder needs to really get his career with the Gers underway and he will be in with a shout of playing against Real Betis after making it through 90 minutes on Saturday.

Michael Beale will have been pleased to see him show something different to some of the other options he has in his side and will be looking forward to seeing more of him during this campaign.

In other Rangers news, a BBC journalist has made a “significant” admission about Beale’s future at Ibrox.