PEDRO CAIXINHA yesterday promised youngster Ryan Hardie that he will be given a chance to prove himself at Rangers this term.
The 20-year-old has spent much of the last 18 months out on loan at Raith Rovers and St Mirren.
But the Scotland Under-21 poacher has been told he is going nowhere this season following the departures of Martyn Waghorn and Joe Garner.
An injury to Eduardo Herrera last week saw Caixinha turn to the fresh-faced front man as he was called up to the Gers boss’ first-team squad for Saturday’s visit of Hearts.
He was then thrown on with 20 minutes left as the Ibrox outfit chased down a late winner against the Jambos.
While Hardie was unable to provide a finishing touch during the frustrating 0-0 draw, he showed enough to convince Caixinha he deserves another chance on the senior stage.
The Portuguese coach said: “I met Ryan when we arrived last season later on when he came from the loan process.
“I was told by our doctor, who likes him a lot, that he was a goalscorer, he is definitely a goalscorer, and when he has a chance he scores.
“Unfortunately he had one-and-a-half chances [on Saturday] and he almost scored, but he didn’t score in the game.
“He is an option for us after Martyn left the club, so we have Kenny Miller, we have Alfredo Morelos, we have Eduardo. And Ryan and Zak Rudden can be options for us if a situation like this happens.
“Last season we used a lot of players from the youth system and this season we are already using it.”