RANGERS boss Steven Gerrard admitted former Cherries defender Jack Simpson had to “keep fighting for more performances” after making his debut for the Ibrox side.

Simpson sealed a move to the Glasgow giants from Cherries in January, six months before agreeing a pre-contract agreement in the summer.

The centre-back replaced Filip Helander for the final 23 minutes of the 4-1 victory over Dundee United on Sunday.

Speaking about the Cherries academy graduate, Gerrard said: "We will have to see (if he will be more involved in the remaining weeks) and we have got the luxury of having centre-backs who have performed ever so well over the season.

"We got Jack in early, which was a bonus really and we didn’t expect to get him in so early. There was no rush or panic or we don’t need to be forceful to get him in.”

Simpson was introduced off the bench alongside another former Cherries man in Jermain Defoe.

He came on with the score at 4-0 before Marc McNulty struck a consolation effort late on for the visitors.

"The game presented an opportunity to get him moving,” said Gerrard.

“He has been patient and waited for his debut and if we need to use him, we will use him. He has to keep fighting for more performances from now until the end of the season and I am sure he will get them.

"It is very difficult to say to players ‘you are not playing today’ when they have been performing ever so well and keeping a lot of clean sheets and we have put ourselves in this position in the league and Europe with other players.

"I am not saying I prefer those players, but they deserve to play and deserve the shirt and Jack needs to keep pushing and be patient and wait for his moments to come."