Steven Gerrard: Lee Wallace return is a plus for Rangers

Lee Wallace
Lee Wallace (right) chats to Gary McAllister before Thursday's win over Ufa

The return of "leader" Lee Wallace after almost a year on the sidelines is a "big positive" for Rangers, says manager Steven Gerrard.

The former captain, 31, was on the bench for Thursday's 1-0 Europa League home win over Russian club FC Ufa.

He had been out since September with a groin injury and was also suspended and fined in April after he and Kenny Miller were involved in a dressing-room dispute with former boss Graeme Murty.

"He's had a tough time," Gerrard said.

Speaking to RangersTV, he added: "Lee is a leader but I wanted to name him on the bench today."

Following the dispute after the 4-0 Scottish Cup semi-final defeat by Celtic defeat in April, it looked like the left-back's career at Ibrox could have been over.

However, Gerrard says he was keen to get him back involved in the 1-0 win over the Russians.

"Not necessarily to use him, but to let him start getting the feel for the crowd and being around the dressing room," the manager explained.

"The idea for him now is to push him and try and get him match fit as soon as we can."

Kyle Lafferty and Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard, right, was pleased with Kyle Lafferty's impact from the bench against Ufa

One man who did get off the bench was new signing Kyle Lafferty following his transfer from Hearts on Wednesday.

The Northern Ireland international did not get on the scoresheet, but his new manager was still impressed.

"Kyle's had a big 24 hours but I wanted to get him on the pitch and see if we could get that extra goal to give us a bit more of a cushion, but it wasn't to be," he said. "I was pleased with his impact."

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