Rangers midfielder Todd Cantwell found himself under fire and on the receiving end of an early substitution during Thursday’s frustrating draw with Aris Limassol. Cantwell’s error directly contributed to the Cypriots’ opening goal, prompting Rangers legend Barry Ferguson to issue a challenge to the midfielder, emphasizing the need for a strong response and a fight to reclaim his place in the starting lineup.
Ferguson, a highly respected figure in Rangers’ history, offered his insights into Cantwell’s predicament in an interview with the Daily Record. He acknowledged the possibility of Cantwell being benched for the upcoming match against St Mirren, underlining the importance of the player’s reaction to this setback.
“Todd Cantwell isn’t the first Rangers player to experience the disappointment of an early hook, and he won’t be the last,” Ferguson stated. “But he’s certainly the only one who can determine how the difficult experience he endured on Thursday plays out.”
Reflecting on Cantwell’s disappointing performance against Aris Limassol, Ferguson urged the player to make a crucial decision. Instead of dwelling on the setback, he encouraged Cantwell to channel his efforts into rediscovering his top form and avoiding a repetition of his struggles at Norwich City.
“I hope he chooses the latter path because, as I’ve said plenty of times before, I’m a big fan of the former Norwich playmaker, and I firmly believe he has a lot to offer this team,” Ferguson expressed.
Ferguson acknowledged that Cantwell might be better suited to playing through the middle but emphasized the importance of adhering to the manager’s instructions. He stressed the need for Cantwell to avoid defiance and implement the guidance provided by Philippe Clement, Rangers’ boss.
“What Cantwell cannot afford to do is give his manager the brush-off, especially while putting in the sub-par performance he exhibited against Aris,” Ferguson remarked.
The former Rangers captain commended Clement for making a bold decision to substitute Cantwell midway through the first half, asserting the manager’s authority. Now, the ball is in Cantwell’s court, and Ferguson believes that sulking or arguing with Clement will not yield positive results.
“He can’t sulk or throw a tantrum, and I don’t think there’s much point in trying to argue his case with Clement either. It’s a battle he’s simply not going to win. The only way back is to redouble his efforts and heed the messages from his manager,” Ferguson emphasized.
Drawing parallels with Cantwell’s previous experiences at Norwich, Ferguson warned of the potential danger of letting his Rangers career slip away. He emphasized the need for Cantwell to react positively and demonstrate resilience in the face of adversity.
“Todd has already seen his Norwich career drift away after a promising start, and there is a risk the same could happen in Glasgow if he doesn’t respond appropriately,” Ferguson concluded.