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Rangers: Michael Beale must unleash Ryan Jack today

Glasgow Rangers go into today’s Viaplay Cup semi-final clash on an excellent run of form under Michael Beale, winning five of his first six matches at the Ibrox helm and drawing the other.

Usually a kind competition to the Gers, having won it 27 times throughout the years, their last League Cup came back in 2011, and Beale will be determined to secure his first piece of silverware as Rangers manager next month, providing he can overcome today’s encounter.

Several players have improved their performances since the 42-year-old took charge, with Ryan Jack being one of the standout performers recently, and he should be unleashed against his former club Aberdeen today.

The 30-year-old has played a part in every match since the resumption of the Premiership season in December, scoring one goal and setting up another as he returns to full fitness.

Against Dundee United last weekend, the Scotland international put in arguably his finest display of the season so far. He averaged a Sofascore rating of 7.6/10 and was the Light Blues’ joint-second best player on the pitch.

Jack’s ball control and passing ability were a joy to watch as he took 94 touches while completing 71 passes during the game at a success rate of 92%, and this was key in Rangers securing all three points.

A key influence throughout the pitch, he made four key passes, grabbed an assist and had a shot on target. He also chipped in defensively, winning four of his six duels, along with making two tackles and one interception.

Jordan Campbell has lavished praise on the midfielder previously, dubbing him “superb” and claiming that he “gets the team playing” following his performance against St Mirren in November; and with the 30-year-old’s contract due to expire in the summer, Beale must convince him to sign a new long-term deal at Ibrox.

If Rangers have any ambitions of defeating Aberdeen this afternoon, unleashing Jack from the start should go a long way to ensuring yet another League Cup final appearance.

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Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard reacts after the match

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