Nacho Novo would like to see veteran midfielder Steven Davis restored to prominence at Rangers for their crucial upcoming games against Braga and Celtic.
Last season’s Scottish Football Writers’ Player of the Year has become a peripheral figure at Ibrox since Giovanni Van Bronckhorst took over in November.
The 37-year-old’s diminished status was underlined by the fact he was an unused substitute for the recent defeats at home to Celtic in the cinch Premiership and away to Braga in the Europa League.
However, Davis made only his third appearance of 2022 when he was introduced as a 26th-minute replacement for John Lundstram at St Mirren on Sunday.
Novo is hopeful that is a signal he is about to be restored to the side on a more regular basis as Rangers bid to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Braga at Ibrox on Thursday before facing Celtic in Sunday’s Scottish Cup semi-final.
“He is a great player,” said the former Rangers striker. “I think he’s one of the best midfielders.
“He’s still got the passion to play and the engine to keep going. He can still perform and that’s what you want.
“But I don’t see him in training so I can’t judge how Giovanni sees things, as I’m not the manager.
“He knows how to play in big games. But there are other players, who could be performing better in training and deserve to play.
“You have to respect the manager’s decision but for me, personally, I’d play Davis all day long.”
Novo is keen to see Rangers make a big push to try to secure top scorer Alfredo Morelos on a new deal.
The Colombian striker, ruled out for the season with a thigh injury sustained during the recent international break, is out of contract in the summer of 2023.
And Novo is hopeful the club will be able to find a way to secure the services of their talisman for the long term.
“He’s been incredible and he’s massively proven how good he is, since he joined Rangers (in 2017),” said Novo. “He’s always improving and overall, he’s a great player.
“I think Rangers will need to do something very soon because you don’t want to lose your best players.”