Rangers boss Gerrard defends Zungu’s substitute role in Lech Poznan win

Bongani Zungu - Rangers
The Bafana Bafana star made his first matchday squad on Thursday since his arrival from Amiens earlier this month

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has defended the inclusion of Bongani Zungu in his squad for Thursday’s Europa League match but he is in no rush to use the South Africa international.

Following the completion of his quarantine this week, Zungu was unveiled as a Rangers player on Wednesday - 14 days after his arrival from France, and he immediately earned a place in the Gers team for their game against Lech Poznan, which ended 1-0.

The 28-year-old was an unused substitute in the encounter as super-sub Alfredo Morelos secured all three points for the Scottish Premiership giants in the second half.

Zungu's last competitive outing was on October 3 when he played in a Ligue 2 match which Amiens lost to Caen by 1-0, however, Gerrard claims the Bafana Bafana midfielder needs time to adapt in Scotland and also get fit for matches.

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"I think the key with Bognani now is he needs as much training as possible with the group,” Gerrard was quoted by Glasgow Live.

“He hasn't trained with a group for quite some time and he hasn't played many games if you're looking at the previous months gone by.

"We've registered him because we want him fit, available and sharp as quick as we can.

"We've got him in the squad [v Lech Poznan] just because we have the luxury of naming 12 subs, otherwise it would have come too soon.

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"The game will dictate who I use, how I use and when I use. If the game allows he could maybe be introduced for a short time. We'll have to see how the game pans out.

"We want him out there on a Rangers pitch as soon as we can but he does need time to get up to speed. We don't expect to see the best out of Bongani for another couple of weeks because he needs game time."

Rangers have made a great start to the 2020-21 season with a 17-game unbeaten run across all competitions and they sit at the top of the Scottish top-flight table with 32 points from 12 matches.