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Steven Gerrard backs Calvin Bassey to shine against Livingston

Motherwell v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – Fir Park
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Steven Gerrard reckons Calvin Bassey sparkled against Standard Liege and the Rangers boss is backing him to light up Sunday’s clash with Livingston.

The former Leicester academy recruit was thrown in at the deep end during Thursday’s rain-lashed Europa League opener in Belgium after Borna Barisic was forced off with a thigh strain.

It was just his sixth first-team appearance – and only his second in Europe – since moving to Glasgow in the summer.

But the 20-year-old left-back put in an impressive display at the back as he helped shut out Philippe Montanier’s team while contributing at the other end of the pitch with some daring charges up field.

It was a performance which left Gerrard dazzled and he insists he will have no problem trusting Bassey again if Barisic fails to recover in time to face Gary Holt’s Lions this weekend.

He said: “I thought Calvin was outstanding. For someone who has very little experience, to come into a game as big as that and at that level and perform the way he did made us very proud.

“He’s a fantastic kid, a kid who wants to learn, who wants grow and evolve and with team we’re really confident we can help polish him up and get him to become even better than he is.

“He’s got real interesting attributes right now and he showed them on Thursday night, which was fantastic to see.

“He’s in a good place and he’s ready. That’s the key thing.

“Calvin, every time he has been called upon since he walked in, he’s been ready to produce. So he’s in a good place.”

Gers claimed the derby bragging rights with victory in last Saturday’s Old Firm triumph and are now looking to wrap up the perfect week when they host Livi.

The Ibrox side now top the table by four points, albeit having played a game more than rivals Celtic.

Gerrard’s team put themselves in position to compete last year with another Parkhead win but then faltered after the winter break.

And for that reason the manager is refusing to get carried away with the current situation.

He said: “The squad is in a better place in terms of personnel and quality. I think we had a real positive transfer window.

“Time will tell. The challenges are going to come thick and fast. The important thing for us is to not get carried away, remain humble and keep the players in the right zone.

“We have got a lot of belief and confidence that we can continue to get results but we have to go and prove that.

“And we have to prove that over a longer period than just the first few months of the season.”