Tommy Wright sets Rangers gem Ross McCausland new challenge after Ibrox breakthrough
Northern Ireland’s Under-21 boss Tommy Wright has challenged Rangers gem Ross McCausland to be patient having broken into Philippe Clement’s first team at Ibrox.
The winger has burst onto the scene in Glasgow having impressed during Steven Davis’ interim period in charge of Rangers and received a call-up to Michael O’Neill’s senior Northern Ireland squad for their November international fixtures.
McCausland played 59 minutes against Finland on Friday (17 November) and while he seems to be going from strength to strength for club and country, Wright has urged the 20-year-old to remain grounded and fulfil his potential.
As quoted by the Daily Record (19 November) he said: “We think he’s got a big future and just hope he can keep it going. Steven put him in, which was a great help. And now the new manager has shown faith in him. He looks so comfortable in that environment, which tells you a lot about his ability.
“Ross has had to be patient at Rangers because he hasn’t even had a loan. He has been playing B-team football. He has to keep his feet on the ground.
“We know he can see a pass and go past people but sometimes young players forget there’s two sides to it. He has to work hard and what he does without the ball is also important He’s got a really bright future and hopefully he’ll go on to greater things.”
So often when a young attacking player breaks into a first team, supporters are blown away by their ability on the ball and the creative side of their game, but typically there are fears over a player’s defensive and physical capabilities out of possession.
McCausland is not one of those players however and it is clear that he is more than willing to get stuck in defensively as well as do the exciting stuff going forward. Against Finland, he won two of his ground duels and while it was a disappointing game for Northern Ireland, the Rangers gem managed to create a chance in the clash.
Against Livingston, the Northern Irishman received praise from Barry Ferguson who was impressed by his willingness to the “dirty” aspects of the game. Now McCausland just has to keep this up for a sustained period and run of games.
Clement has plenty of attacking talent at his disposal and is a well-known perfectionist. If McCausland’s standards slip, it won’t just be the national team coaches who will be disappointed in the young winger, his club coach won’t settle for that.