Rangers have been handed a major boost ahead of their Europa League tie against Slavia Prague on Thursday night, with Steven Gerrard confirming that Kemar Roofe is raring to go.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Gers boss delivered a crucial injury update ahead of the clash tonight, revealing: “Roofe will train this morning and will be available. Jack could be ready but I have decided to hold back and he will be available for the second-leg, I don’t want to push him too quick. Tavernier will be a little bit slower to return.”
The news on Roofe will come as a major boost to Gerrard and Rangers, with the forward being a prolific scorer whenever he’s been fit and available to play for the side.
In just 18 Scottish Premiership games this season, he’s bagged ten goals, including a truly impressive hot streak from the beginning of November to the end of December – he scored eight in eight and also managed to provide two assists too.
And it’s not just his goals that Gerrard will welcome back tonight, with the Gers boss hailing the kind of work rate he puts in towards the end of last year.
He said: “He’s doesn’t stop, he’s like a Duracell bunny. He’s hitting numbers that you don’t really expect from a forward player. He’s running more than the midfielders and he’s running the most in the team at the moment.
“I think he’s really setting the example in terms of what we need to put into a game to get the results we’re getting. Everyone is putting in impressive numbers but Roofe has raised the bar with the last couple of performances he’s put in.”
European ties need everyone to be buying into the pre-match plan, and with the Gers having run away with the league title in Scotland, they will need to refocus and be wired in straight away against Slavia, who proved how dangerous they can be when they knocked Leicester City in the last round.
Having someone like Roofe who can inject that extra bit of energy and keep the tempo going up top, could prove to be a game-changer, and he can ensure the intensity levels of the Gers remains at a high level and doesn’t see a drop off after their inevitable title celebrations.
It’s exactly why Gerrard will be buzzing to have the £35k-a-week earning flier back tonight.