Rangers showed Celtic that they are serious about their title fight this season by handing an embarrassing defeat to Hibernian yesterday.
The Gers dominated the game at Ibrox, winning 6-1. Jermain Defoe was the star of the show for Rangers, scoring a hat-trick.
It was the 36-year-old’s first appearance of the Scottish Premiership season, after sitting out the opening day win over Kilmarnock.
Clearly, Defoe is set to share striking duties with Alfredo Morelos, who also scored a brace in the game.
But speaking to the Glasgow Evening Times yesterday, Defoe made it clear he is happy to sit out on occasions at this point in his career.
“I missed the last two games and came in to this one fresh. I felt sharp right from the beginning. It’s about the squad, not even just the guys who played today. There’s going to be a lot of games so we’re going to need everyone if we’re going to have a good year.
“Would I be disappointed not to start the next game? Maybe when I was younger.
“Of course you want to play as many games as you can but the manager is smart enough to know the senior lads – and I don’t say older lads – have to be managed. It’s important so you can put in those performances.”
Indeed, there was a time when the former England international striker would have been very displeased with having to sit out a game.
But at this stage of his career, Defoe has now found himself a perfect niche at Ibrox. Sharing duties with the younger Morelos allows Defoe to be fresh when given the starting role and Rangers fans will hope to see the benefits of that tactic throughout 2019-20.