A commanding 3-1 win against Hearts showed that Rangers are on the right track despite failing to threaten Celtic enough in the title race. The fans must be upbeat for the upcoming term with more firepower added to the squad to reclaim the Scottish throne. However, there was ecstasy on Saturday afternoon when Matt Polster finally made his long-pending debut in the closing minutes of the match.
The versatile American was greeted by the travelling Rangers faithful, and the ‘USA, USA’ chant helped the player ‘kick the nerves’ at Tynecastle.
“When I came on the pitch and heard the Rangers fans singing that, it gave me a lift and helped kick the nerves a little bit. The support is massive here. Coming to a new club, I was nervous coming on. But when they chanted that, it made me smile.”
The above was said by Polster (as quoted by the Scottish Sun) after the game following his first appearance for the Bears since completing a winter move from Chicago Fire in the aftermath of a successful trial back in December. He has become a fans’ favourite already after impressing with the reserves and is desperate to follow the footsteps of fellow countrymen Mo Edu, Claudio Reyna and Carlos Bocanegra who are still adored by the supporters.
Polster is known for his aggressive style of play, high work ethics, great passing, pressing and tackling traits. His attributes suit the demands of the Scottish league, and the player also highlighted the same in the interview.
Predominantly a right-back, the 25-year-old is also capable of playing as a deep-lying playmaker or defensive midfielder. This would hand Gerrard more flexibility while choosing his options as well as rotating the squad to keep them fit and fresh for the entire season.
The gaffer, meanwhile, was aware of Polster’s potential having featured against him in MLS while representing LA Galaxy towards the end of his illustrious playing career.
“The idea with Matt was to get him in, get him settled in the city. It is a big, big change for him so we had to get him used to the dressing room, get him used to Rangers and the pressure of Rangers.”
Stated Gerrard after the game (as quoted by Football Scotland) and also backed him to ‘surprise a few’ in the long run after adjusting to life in Scotland. More game-time is now predicted in the remaining fixtures, and the player must grab these opportunities to secure a place in the manager’s plan from the next season onwards.