Barry Ferguson: Michael Beale 'will rely' on Tom Lawrence after Rangers return
Barry Ferguson has said that he believes Michael Beale and Rangers will rely “big time” on Tom Lawrence as they look to get their season up and running.
The Welshman joined the ranks at Ibrox last summer but missed a majority of the season with an Achilles tendon injury, but has now returned to action and played the full 90 minutes in the Light Blues’ 2-0 win over St Johnstone on Saturday (16 September).
Lawrence impressed on his full return, setting up Rabbi Matondo’s late goal to remind Rangers fans just why he was signed last season and Ferguson has heaped praise on his performance.
Speaking on the Go Radio Football Show on Monday (18 September) he said: “I liked him when he was brought in last year and we only saw him for a month or so and he missed the rest of the season. He had a really good career down in England and is a really good football player.
“But he has got good experience as well, he is about 29 or 30. He knows the game inside out and he is one player that Michael Beale will rely on big time.”
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One of the main criticisms of Beale’s side so far this season has been the lack of quality from the new signings that arrived at Ibrox this summer, but the nature of making nine additions to a squad in one window is that the players will take time to adapt to one another.
Although Lawrence has played such little football for the Light Blues since making the switch last year, his experience and knowledge of the game will be so helpful to a team that is all trying to find their feet around him.
His focus at the moment will likely be on staying fit and rediscovering his form, yet if he can continue to show the impressive form that he has displayed in his limited minutes so far, he will have a similar impact at Ibrox to that of a new signing.
Beale needs players he can rely on in what is a difficult and decisive period during his rein at Ibrox and there are few more reliable in his ranks at the moment than Lawrence. The only thing everyone will have to be wary of is not overplaying the Welshman after such a long time out.
The natural thing for Beale to do would be to play the Welshman whenever he possibly can, but Rangers cannot afford to lose a player they are so reliant on for that long once again. Hopefully, the Manchester United academy graduate can stay fit and kick on at Ibrox.
In other Rangers news, Ferguson has also offered his verdict on the best role for Rabbi Matondo