John Lundstram determined to grasp midfield opportunity against Lyon and prove his worth to new Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst

The defensive midfielder faces stiff competition for a starting place with Steven Davis, Glen Kamara and Ryan Jack all vying for the same position

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John Lundstram knows the wide range of midfield options that Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has at his disposal but recognises he must grasp his opportunity when it arrives.

The former Sheffield United star faces stiff competition for a starting place with Steven Davis, Glen Kamara and Ryan Jack, who recently returned from injury, all vying for the same position.

Prior to the sudden departure of Steven Gerrard, who brought the 27-year-old to Ibrox in the summer, Lundstram produced a string of man of the match performances.

He has had to settle for a place on the bench in recent weeks under the Dutchman but Lundstram is eager to impress against French giants Lyon in the final round of Europa League group stage fixtures tomorrow.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, he said: “As everyone knows, the squad depth is massive and there is quality throughout, there’s a couple of players for every position that could easily play in the team. That will only aid the club going forward.

“To win things you’ve got to have strength and depth. Any injuries picked up along the way, you’ve got to be able to fill that void, so having that competition stands us in good stead.

“Playing in midfield you always have a certain role to carry out under all managers. You’ve got to be able to pass the ball, be combative, you’ve got to want the ball, be energetic.

“There haven’t been massive differences but you can see the little tweaks that the managers has been making and it’s working.

“The new gaffer has come in and the lads have been doing magnificently well, so I just need to bide my time to get a chance and hopefully I can take it.

“If selected, you have to go and take your chance. Every game is an opportunity to showcase yourself and we’ve got paying traveling fans going over there, so we have to go and put in a performance for them.”

Rangers are in the midst of another busy schedule of matches and Lundstram is prepared to fill in wherever van Bronckhorst requires him to play.

Rangers' John Lundstram came in for criticism. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)Rangers' John Lundstram came in for criticism. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)
Rangers' John Lundstram came in for criticism. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

The midfielder came on as a late substitute during the 1-0 win over Hibernian last Wednesday and slotted into to a back three to add some defensive stability.

Asked if the manager had spoken about doing that again, Lundstram admitted: “I could slot in there if needed.

“Wherever the gaffer calls upon me, I’ll obviously be there to help the team. Whether that’s something the gaffer sees going forward I’m not too sure, but if needed there I’ll try my best to fill that role.

“It does ask a lot to play every two or three days during this period but I’m sure you’ll see the full depth of the squad this month.

“With the amount of games we’ve got, it definitely does take it out of you but it’s something you’ve got to take in your stride.”

With second place already secured and their spot in the last 32 confirmed, Thursday night’s encounter with Group A winners Lyon will be viewed as a dead rubber by many.

After a week of controversy surrounding the French government’s decision to deny Light Blues supporters access to the stadium, that decision has now been overturned with fans now allowed to travel.

Lundstram admits having the supporters behind them can drive the team on to success but, despite Lyon’s recent domestic frailties, he knows the scale of the task they face in the Groupama Stadium.

He stated: “I think it’s massive we’ll have the support of the fans. They follow us everywhere through tick and thin, so this will be an enjoyable one for them.

“We’re under no illusions how good this Lyon team is. We saw that at Ibrox a couple of months back, it was a tough night for us.

“They have got massive individual quality throughout the team and we know this will be a tough game.”