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Michael O'Neill says he plans to help Rangers with Gareth McAuley

Gareth McAuley of West Bromwich Albion during a on January 29, 2018 in West Bromwich, England.

Rangers defender is hoping to soon make his first start.

Gareth McAuley of West Bromwich Albion during training on December 5, 2017 in West Bromwich, England.

Gareth McAuley came off the bench for Rangers last night and the defender hopes to soon start earning a regular spot.

Despite his lack of club football, McAuley has been named in the latest Northern Ireland squad.

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill still considers the new Rangers man vitally important and believes he can do the Gers a favour.

 

He hopes to give McAuley some game time which he anticipates will give his Rangers career a boost by helping him get sharp.

His start to the season was delayed by injury.

Gareth McAuley jokes with Jamie Ward as the Northern Ireland football squad take part in an open training session at Windsor Park on September 7, 2018 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, O'Neill said: "The case is now to get him on the bench then he can push for a regular place at Rangers.

"He'll come in with us in a much better place now after four, five, six weeks of training which is important for him. It's good to have him back."

McAuley is on a one-year deal and needs to prove that he has more to offer and is not finished.

He turns 39 in December and is already defying expectations.

With an international career to still keep alive, McAuley has plenty of reason to now kick on at boyhood club Rangers, and O'Neill is giving him the support he needs.

Gareth McAuley of West Bromwich Albion during a on January 29, 2018 in West Bromwich, England.

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