NATHAN Patterson has attributed his meteoric rise to prominence and Scotland selection for the Euro 2020 finals to vying with Rangers captain James Tavernier for the right back slot at Ibrox.

And Patterson has expressed confidence that he can build on his breakthrough season and improve even further as a player next term despite the presence of the Englishman at the Glasgow giants.

The 19-year-old has won rave reviews from supporters and pundits for his performances for Steven Gerrard’s team domestically and in Europe during the 2020/21 campaign as well as a call-up for his country.

The defender made his debut for the national team in the pre-tournament friendly against Luxembourg on Sunday and is eager to feature in the Group D games with the Czech Republic, England and Croatia.

He believes that having SPFL Player of the Year Tavernier alongside him at Rangers has helped him to raise his game to a higher level and achieve what he has to date.

“There is a lot of excitement, challenge and a lot of pressure at a young age,” he said. “When you are young and you are exposed to that pressure at first-team level then it should help put you in good stead for the rest of your career. It has really helped me, being with Rangers and having a successful season and this has just topped it off.

“I was just concentrating on trying to break through and getting as many opportunities as possible. When I started playing well I knew I had to keep it going in the hope that I could get to the Euros. It has happened so I am buzzing.

“You need good competition within the team and that is the way it should be. Being a young player and behind the captain is a good challenge and I have thrived on it. That is the challenge of football.  It has got me where I am today and I am proud of that.”

Patterson also expressed his gratitude to the Rangers hierarchy for staying true to their word and giving him the opportunity to challenge Tavernier for a place in the first team at Ibrox this season.  

“When I first signed my contract last December I was told they’d clear the pathway and it would just be me and Tav,” he said. “And they did that. There was always the thought in the back of my mind that it might not happen. But it did.

“I’m just thankful to Rangers to sticking by their word. I think I’ve done really well and worked really hard and they obviously trust me now.

“As I’ve said before, there is competition in every team and that’s the way it should be, no matter who you are up against our what age you are. It’s a performance-based sport so if you do well then you’ll get your opportunity.”