Good write up by Chris Jack in the times Sam Ricketts with big praise for his performances last season really hope he can make the grade he’s got great attributes.
“IT is on his ability that Greg Docherty will be judged this summer as Steven Gerrard decides whether he has a place in his Rangerssquad.
But Sam Ricketts knows there will be no questions over his attitude as Docherty looks to make the most of his second chance at Ibrox.
Ricketts inherited the 22-year-old when he was appointed as Shrewsbury Town boss in December.
By then, Docherty had already scored six times in League One and had firmly established himself as a fan favourite at New Meadow after leaving Ibrox on loan last summer.
As Shrewsbury battled for their place in the third tier of English football, the midfielder was more than playing his part in the fight.
Come the end of the campaign, it was one that proved successful for Ricketts as relegation was avoided.
Docherty could therefore return north of the border with a sense of satisfaction at a job done. And he has left a last impression in Shropshire.
Ricketts said: “He did really well. I came in halfway through the season and I didn’t really know of Greg before I came in.
“But what he has got is a fantastic attitude in terms of wanting to be a footballer at the highest level and he does everything he can to put himself in the right place to do that. He looks after himself, he does extra work in the gym and he is outside doing extra practice every day.
“That is what I loved about him. On the field, he had an excellent season and to get ten goals and 11 assists is excellent, no matter where you are playing or who you are.
“That is a very good return and I was delighted to work with him on and off the pitch.
“He came away and played a full season of 50 games, which is no mean feat for any player. The exuberance he has to want to do well is brilliant. I never watched him play at Rangers but he came here and worked so hard. It is not just his running, it is excellent, but his goals and all round game were terrific.
“When you have got a player that is willing to put that shift in, that will run you 12km in every game, but also do it at his intensity, that is a major asset to any team.
“With Greg, you have his quality at the end of it and that is what makes him a special player.”
Ricketts may have known little about Docherty when he first arrived at New Meadow but it didn’t take the former Swansea, Hull, Bolton and Wolves defender long to become a keen admirer of the Scot.
Docherty would score another four times in the second half of the campaign. The match minutes were just as important on a personal level as his time away from Ibrox proved more than worthwhile.
“He is very driven and he wants to be as good as he can be and have as good a career as possible,” Ricketts said. “Greg saw coming away to Shrewsbury for a year as an opportunity to impress everyone.
“Most importantly, he bought into what we were doing at the club, certainly since I came into the club. He bought into everything that I asked of him so he wasn’t like a loan player that had half an eye on being back home.
“Obviously he still followed Rangers and he wanted to impress them, but he was fully committed to what we were doing here, which was really important.
“He is a really good lad, a great lad to have around the place and I had no problems with him in that respect. He is very professional, he acts and behaves and looks after himself in the right manner.
“He is level-headed as well, so he doesn’t get carried away when he is scoring goals or assisting goals and he wasn’t off it when things weren’t quite going his way either. That impressed me and is the temperament that you need to be a top player.”
With a full season at Shrewsbury under his belt, Docherty returned to Glasgow this summer determined to impress boss Gerrard.
And Ricketts hopes the former Hamilton Accies star gets his dream chance at Ibrox as Rangers bid for domestic success this season.
He said: “The whole idea of taking lads in on loan is to give them a platform to perform and to improve and I think that is exactly what happened with Doc, which was brilliant.
“I will follow him and I will wish him all the best and I hope that he can go and impress again this season and do well. We are really keen for him to go on and have a great career and then we can say that we helped, that we were a very small part, of helping him achieve that.
“You won’t learn from anyone better because Steven Gerrard was one of the best players that the Premier League has ever seen.
“He was a phenomenal talent but he could get box-to-box, and Doc can do that too. He can score goals, he can assist goals and Doc has not got anyone better to learn from.
“Doc would be of interest to a lot of people and I wish him the best. I hope he goes on and does really well this year. If he was available, then obviously we would be keen. But that doesn’t mean that it would happen. I think he could be out of our reach because he performed that well and he could be beyond us now.”