STEVEN Gerrard last night insisted Rangers midfielder Ryan Jack is a match for any of the midfielders Scotland manager Steve Clarke has at his disposal - and predicted his involvement at international level will improve him even further.

Gerrard was pleased to see Jack start in the national team’s final Euro 2020 qualifiers against Cyprus away and Kazakhstan at home and help his country to back-to-back Group I triumphs.

The former England captain believes if Celtic skipper Scott Brown, who this week indicated he may make a comeback, declares himself available for selection again it will increase Clarke’s options and his chances of success.


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However, as Scotland were drawn to play Israel in the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final at Hampden on March 26, he stressed that Jack is more than capable of retaining his place in the starting line-up.

“First and foremost, it is a decision for Scott Brown on whether to make himself available,” he said. “Then it’s over to Steve Clarke. I think Steve Clarke will pick the players he feels are best to make Scottish football a success again. But I think for Steve Clarke’s sake, the more players that are available the better.

“I won’t try and make Steve Clarke’s decisions. But it’s no surprise to me that with Ryan Jack in the team they have won the last two games. No surprise at all, because I have seen it first-hand here.

“The midfield is probably the strongest area of the Scotland team, but let me tell you right now, Ryan Jack is a match for any of them in his own way, what he gives to a team and what he gives to a manager.

“A lot of Jacko’s stuff is not fantastic on the eye, if you like. But if you are talking about an all-round midfield performance Ryan Jack is right in there with any of those midfielders, don’t worry about that.”


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The man who represented his country on 114 occasions, including at three European Championship finals and three World Cup finals, felt Jack gelled well with Callum McGregor of Celtic and John McGinn of Aston Villa.

“He did okay in the first game and in the second game he was outstanding,” said Gerrard. “The three lads complemented each other very well. McGinn is a fantastic player and McGregor, just to show everyone I’m not biased, was fantastic. The three of them really shone together.

“I think if you play three in there, you are looking for balance. You can’t have three the same. The good thing about the other day is that they are all different.

“Ryan is your enforcer, if you like, and does a bit of everything. McGregor is your footballer, your connector, a really lovely passer who plays through the lines and always makes himself available.

“And McGinn is your power, your runner and goal threat. The balance between the three of them made sense and that’s why it was a success.”

Gerrard, whose side take on Hamilton in the Ladbrokes Premiership tomorrow, believes being involved in the Scotland set-up will help Jack, who has been one of his stand-out performers in the 2019/20 campaign, improve even further.

“Being an international and being around a different manager, he will have tons to learn,” he said. “Even though Ryan is 27 he has missed quite a bit of football so is a young 27 in terms of games played and is as hungry as ever.

“He wants to grow, wants to play and develop and take part in every session. He’s a winner and it wouldn’t surprise me if he continues in this vein of form. Would it surprise me if he went again? No it wouldn’t.”