This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
TNS manager Scott Ruscoe has picked out Joe Aribo and Jordan Jones as the outstanding performers during Rangers’ recent friendly win, as reported by The Daily Record.
Rangers are just days away from kicking off their second season under manager Steven Gerrard and hopes will be high they can overcome UEFA Europa League qualifying and make it into the group stages once again.
To do that they need to be at their best over the next couple of months and they’ve been busily preparing for the process in pre-season for almost three weeks already.
One of their final tune-ups came against Welsh champions TNS on Wednesday, winning 1-0 in a training ground match.
Ruscoe’s side have qualifiers of their own coming up in the Champions League, so were at a good stage of fitness for Rangers to test themselves against.
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The TNS boss was left impressed by two Gers players in particular, telling The Daily Record:
“The two Rangers players that stood out the most and caught the eye were Jordan Jones and Joe Aribo.
“It is very early days but Jones has the makings of being a really good player. He is capable of progressing his career at Rangers. Just being in and around experienced pros like Defoe and Steve Davis can help enhance his game further.
“Aribo also looked like a very accomplished footballer and he possesses some decent ability. I can totally understand why Rangers were keen to get him on board this summer.
“I feel Aribo is a player who could really flourish under the Rangers coaching and management team of Gerrard and Gary McAllister.”
Rangers’ first competitive test comes away to St Joseph’s of Gibraltar on Tuesday and given their lowly status in the game, the Gers will be expected to win comfortably and bring a lead back to Ibrox for the second leg.
Gerrard’s starting eleven against TNS could be a hint towards what kind of team will start the match next week, with Jermain Defoe leading the line as the central striker and new signings such as Aribo and Sheyi Ojo getting the nod too.
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The returning Greg Docherty also started the friendly and it’ll be very interesting to see if the Gers boss uses him for the first time in competitive action.
With others like Steven Davis, James Tavernier and Connor Goldson featuring, it’s clear that Rangers will have a strong team available to them for the season opener.