Rangers Man Andy Halliday Finds Redemption After Derby Performance

Andy Halliday has had a rollercoaster Rangers career since he arrived at Ibrox in 2015.

The Gers boyhood supporter helped secure promotion to the top flight in his maiden season and he’s now made ninety league appearances for the Light Blues.

Yet he’s also suffered in Govan. The midfielder was involved in an infamous training ground bust-up with high-profile signing Joey Barton, which resulted in Rangers sacking Barton. Andy was then deemed surplus to requirements under former Gers gaffer Pedro Caixinha and he was loaned out to Azerbaijan Premier League side Gabala.

Caretaker boss Graeme Murty would bring Halliday back in early 2018 but would then haul off the former Livingston and Middlesborough star during the first-half in a miserable defeat to treble winners Celtic in April.

For many, myself included, it was believed that Andy Halliday just wasn’t good enough to be a Rangers player. He had plenty of endeavour and was clearly a Gers fan but he couldn’t shine in the bigger, important games. At times those huge occasions would simply pass him by.

When new Gers manager Steven Gerrard walked into Ibrox in June, The Herald reported that he had decided to let Halliday leave the club.

For whatever reason, the twenty-seven year old earned himself a reprieve and yesterday he repaid his manager’s faith in him.

With regular left-back Borna Barišić out injured; Gerrard had to pick from Lee Wallace, Jon Flanagan or Andy Halliday as his new left sided fullback.

For me, I’d have selected former club captain Wallace as he’s the most natural left-back between the three. But Gerrard went with the makeshift option in Halliday and the player had a fantastic outing.

Andy set the tone within the first minute by clearly winning a hard challenge against Olivier Ntcham and then roar in celebration. That showed everyone that Rangers were up for the fight. Ntcham was the star of the show the last time the two rivals meant but he struggled big time yesterday and it all started with that Halliday tackle.

The Gers fullback hustled all game and stuck to his defensive duties. That’s what was needed. James Forrest has had a terrific year, for both club and country,  but yesterday he couldn’t get any change out of Andy who just put a foot in at every opportunity.

No Hoops player showed the same commitment and desire as Halliday and he was ably backed up by Ross McCrorie, Alfredo Morelos, Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack.

While Halliday didn’t continuously burst forward, he did dovetail well with creative spark Ryan Kent when he did venture further forward. But in the main part it was all about a strong defensive performance for Halliday and being as efficient as possible when on the ball.

After the game the lifelong Gers fan stated (via The Scottish Sun):

“It’s probably the best day of my life to be honest.”

“It’s been difficult over the last couple of years, as a team and individually of course.”

“I think that personally I’ve been questioned quite a bit over the last couple of years and I think that I’ve stood up to that challenge and show why I belong here.”

Some rival fans have mocked the ‘best day of my life’ quote but in fairness we all want players to play for the club’s badge.

Andy Halliday has shown us that he does have a strong character and has the tools needed to help his side win big games. Yesterday he proved me wrong!

The twenty-seven year old, and his teammates, now need to show that commitment and passion in every game between now and the end of the season. Rangers still need to put a strong winning run together to become Scottish Premiership title challengers.

That win over Celtic and their superb display will mean nothing if they cannot build on it!

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