Rangers No.2 Gary McAllister addresses Steven Gerrard speculation, Hearts test and Nathan Patterson praise

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The Light Blues assistant manager was on media duties ahead of Saturday’s return to domestic action

Rangers No.2 Gary McAllister reckons Steven Gerrard will not be fazed by speculation linking him to the Newcastle United job.

The Liverpool legend is among several candidates in the running to take over from Steve Bruce at St James’ Park with the club’s new owners targeting a household name to end their long wait for silverware.

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However, McAllister believes the Magpies won’t be the only club trying to entice Gerrard away from Ibrox.

He said: “The thing is, since we have been here there has been speculation and links to several clubs.

“That’s part and parcel of being a high-profile manager. A high-profile manager that’s done pretty well here.

“Winning the league last season was decent.”

The Light Blues welcome unbeaten Hearts to Glasgow this weekend ahead of the return to domestic action following a two-week break.

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Gerrard’s side consigned Hibernian to their first defeat of the season last time out and McAllister is hopeful they can complete a memorable double over the Edinburgh clubs.

“We look forward to the challenge,” he admitted.

“The combinations were quick and sharp and we started to cause Hibernian problems. We managed to get the right result and that was more like us definitely.

“We are enjoying the challenge. We set ourselves wee targets and we’ll try to keep our noses in front.

“Of course, this is a personal thing, but I am happy away fans will be in. I like when there are two sets of fans going at each other, it makes for a better atmosphere.”

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As players return to their clubs after the latest busy international schedule, McAllister reserved praise for right-back Nathan Patterson who came off the bench to set up Scotland’s late winner against the Faroe Islands in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday night.

After starting the crucial 3-2 victory over Israel at Hampden Park just days beforehand, Patterson will have been disappointed to find himself named among the substitutes.

However, his response was certainly emphatic as he delivered a perfectly weighted cross for Lyndon Dykes to chest into the net with four minutes remaining in Torshavn.

McAllister stated: “He’s improving and improving. We feel we have a player who can play a long time for Rangers, but also a player who can represent his country for a long period as well.

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“He’ll just keep on getting better and he just needs to keep taking on board the information the manager and the coaches here at Rangers are feeding him.

“His development will get better and better. He’s working hard on the quality of his deliveries when he gets into that final third and the fact is that in the last few games, as a result of that hard work, he’s got results.

“He’s got a level head and he takes on information really well. He’s a humble lad and that’s standing him in good stead. It helps when he’s playing at a club like this.”

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