Gary McAllister always knew Scott Arfield wasn’t a spit-the-dummy-out kind of guy.
But the Rangers No.2 believes the 32-year-old’s emergence from the first-team fringes to midfield mainstay is an inspirational story that has rubbed off on everyone inside the Ibrox dressing room.
Arfield’s start to the campaign was restricted to five run-outs as a sub in the first six games.
But he has started nine of the last 10 and netted his sixth goal of the season in Thursday night’s Europa League draw with Benfica.
McAllister points to his battle back into boss Steven Gerrard ’s plans as a lesson for every Light Blue star on the fringes.
Arfield has shown how to tackle adversity face on in his battle back from the brink and is now ready for a return to Falkirk today, where his career began, for a Betfred Cup clash against the Bairns.
McAllister said: “Scott found himself out of the team and not getting as many minutes as he would want.
“In all honesty, his reaction, fighting hard for his place, has not surprised me.
“Knowing the fella and working here with him for two-and-a-half seasons, he’s that type.
“He’s infectious. That sort of reaction spreads right through the entire squad.
“The fact he is involved in a lot of our good play is there to see.
“There’s big emphasis on the numbers now. When you’ve scored a goal, can you make a goal? He’s providing that.
“He’s providing us with something a little bit different from the middle of the park.
“He has that ability to run from the mid-third and join the guys in front. He is a nice link between the two and it causes problems for the teams we play against. He’s in a really good place and will be going back to his old stomping ground at Falkirk, where it all started.
“It will be a big day for Scott going back there.”
Also on target against Benfica was the increasingly impressive figure of Kemar Roofe.
McAllister insists it’s already easy to see why the 27-year-old former Leeds United striker became a cult figure at Elland Road.
He said: “I’d seen quite a bit of Kemar when he was at Leeds United and I was still living in the city.
“He’s a player who had the love of the fans at Elland Road with his goals and workrate.
“That endears you to most fans but he came here and wasn’t quite fit.
“It took him time to settle and that was purely down to the fact he hadn’t played many minutes.
“There were also previous injuries at Anderlecht but Kemar is someone who, when fully fit, confident and looking hungry, is a real goal threat.
“All of a sudden he gives us something that wee bit different to what we’ve had in the past. He takes the pressure off our mainline strikers to get goals as he’s looking a goal threat.”
Rangers have been relentless in all competitions this season and a place in the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup is the incentive for this afternoon’s meeting with the Bairns.
But with that comes an increased attention on their star performers, with a host of players now being linked with big-money moves.
Delivering on the European stage has only served to increase the valuation of the likes of Glen Kamara who is getting admiring glances from clubs down south and further afield.
McAllister is convinced the 25-year-old Finland international is coming of age for club and country.
He said: “Glen has been fantastic and a pleasure to work with.
“But he has shone playing for his country as well.
“He is growing. He is getting exposure playing for Rangers in the Premiership and Europa League, plus his form playing for his national team. He jumps out of the screen.
“Glen is a talented young man and can be happy with himself – but there is more in there.
“He is getting more comfortable at this level with every game.
“He is playing for a team in a domestic league where we enjoy a lot of possession.
“But come these high-level games there are times when the opponent will have good periods.
“That is a good learning process for a young player because you are playing against top-level midfield players.
“We are playing in these high-level, elite games and Glen is catching the eye of everyone watching.
“When someone is producing that kind of form, you are going to court interest from others.
“That is just the way that the game is but it is also a big compliment.”
McAllister also offered the caveat that nobody is going to be rushed out of Rangers regardless of big-money offers which land at their door.
He said: “If that happens then it has to suit us.
“We hold the aces here and are not put under pressure to sell our best players.
“There is always going to be a moment but we must always be in control of that. That is the main thing.”