KEVIN Thomson never shirked a challenge in the heat of battle as he led by example to become a f i rm favourite with the Ibrox crowd. Now he hopes Ryan Jack and Graham Dorrans can stand up and be counted and inspire Rangers in the middle of the park this term. The pair have started together in the draw with Marseille and win over Watford in recent days as a partnership that Pedro Caixinha needs to flourish has got off on a positive footing. An extensive summer overhaul at Ibrox has ensured that Caixinha is not short of options as he looks to find his most effective side this term.
And former Light Blues hero Thomson knows the midfield combat is one that Rangers must win if they are to have a successful season this time out.
He told SportTimes: “That area of the team is key and you only need to look across the town at Celtic to see that.
“When you are a Rangers player, your direct opposition is what is across the road and you have to look at that.
“Scotty [Brown] had a terrific season last year but he has done it for so many years. [Tom] Rogic has come to the fore in the last couple of seasons and [Stuart] Armstrong hit the headlines last season after having a quiet year under Ronny Deila.
“That is the challenge that is up against the Rangers players and they have to find a way of being competitive and being better than what Celtic have. I think Graham and Ryan will relish that challenge.
“At the back, they have got [Bruno] Alves and it will come down to who partners him because he will play. It will be a fight between Danny Wilson and Fabio Cardoso to be his partner.
“But there is a base, a spine of a team there now with two good centre-halves and two good central midfield players.
“I think they could do with another striker. They have good players in Kenny Miller and Niko Kranjcar, but they still need a centre-forward that is going to score 20, 25 goals a season to put the finishing touch on that base to create a good team.”
JACK and Dorrans are two pieces of the Ibrox jigsaw that Caixinha is looking to assemble this summer as he prepares for the new Premiership campaign.
The duo were handed starts for the closed doors win over Watford this week and are likely to be in the side that starts against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough.
It is another chance to stake their claim for a place on the opening weekend of the league campaign when the Gers face Motherwell.
And Thomson reckons they could form a productive pair-
they have to find a way of being competitive and better than Celtic