Glenn Middleton reckons becoming a cup winner with St Johnstone can help him convince Steven Gerrard he deserves to play a part in Rangers’ title defence.
The jet-heeled winger will report back to Ibrox this summer having ended his six-month Saints switch on a high by helping Callum Davidson’s team lift the Scottish Cup.
But he will return to a dressing room now brimming with self-belief on the back of Gers bagging their first trophy in a decade.
It will take a major turnaround in fortunes for the 21-year-old to force his way back into the Light Blues line-up.
Middleton found himself well out of the picture before moving to Perth last term, registering just one substitute appearance for Gerrard’s side before his January loan.
But the Scotland Under-21 ace hopes his displays in the second half of the season – which included a match-winning semi-final performance against St Mirren – may make the Rangers boss rethink his position in the Ibrox pecking order.
“I think being part of St Johnstone’s success last season can only help me with Rangers,” he said. “They have seen I can play a big part of a successful team and hopefully it will put me in a good position moving forward.
“No one can take away what we did at St Johnstone.
“But going into next season, hopefully Rangers know if they need me to play they can trust me to do the job.
“I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a dream loan, especially after how the season before had gone.
“That had been such a frustrating experience for me.
“I was on loan at Hibs and Bradford and they didn’t go as I would’ve liked.
“When I went to St Johnstone I was desperate to make things happen and do as well as I could. I would like to think I did that.”
Davidson had been keen to welcome Middleton back to McDiarmid for another loan stint.
But the former Norwich youngster is focussing on kick-starting his Gers career.
He said: “I have to take things as they come and keep performing when I get the chance to play to show what I can do.
“If I can do that then hopefully my future will take care of itself.
“Rangers have told me to report for pre-season as normal. So I’m focusing on that and then we’ll take it from there.
“Everyone’s aim is to play and I’m no different. I just have to go back into the club in the best shape I can.
“I’ve always been grateful to Rangers for everything they’ve done for me.
“Even when I was out on loan they were always in contact and helping me out.
“They were telling me ‘well done’ when I had performed well and it was nice to have that.
“It gave me that little bit of extra motivation having that contact that they were looking at what I was doing.
“If I can keep making progress then we’ll see what happens.
“The age I am, I want to play every week – every player does.
“I want to make an impact on the park. I know where I want to go in my career and what I want to do.
“So as long as I keep doing well, hopefully I can get there.
“This season was incredible for everyone at Rangers and we have the Champions League qualifiers to look forward to.
“I’ll do everything I can to make a good impression when I go back for pre-season and then we’ll take it from there.”