Lewis Mayo details his Rangers plan as he looks to follow Patterson blueprint

Rangers defender Lewis Mayo claims Nathan Patterson is a role model as he prepares for the start of Scotland Under-21s’ Euro qualifiers. Ibrox starlet Patterson is cementing his place in Steve Clarke’s senior squad after making the step up. And Mayo says the progress his pal is making ...

Lewis Mayo details his Rangers plan as he looks to follow Patterson blueprint

Rangers defender Lewis Mayo claims Nathan Patterson is a role model as he prepares for the start of Scotland Under-21s’ Euro qualifiers.

Ibrox starlet Patterson is cementing his place in Steve Clarke’s senior squad after making the step up.

And Mayo says the progress his pal is making proves there’s no limits for Under-21s knocking on the door of the senior set-up.

Scot Gemmill’s side face a tricky first game in their qualifying campaign on Tuesday in Bursa when they face Turkey without 10 English-based players.

The contingent from south of the border are unable to travel because the country is on the UK government’s red list.

But players based in Scotland have received a 48-hour exemption from the Scottish Government to make the daunting trip.

Mayo has made an impressive start to the season on loan with Partick, who are second in the Championship after three wins from their opening four games.

The 21-year-old was used for Rangers ’ pre-season games before Ian McCall snapped him up for a second loan spell at Firhill.

Mayo said: “The exciting thing is there is a clear pathway – and it’s not just Nathan.

“There are several players who have been in the Under-21s team but are now around the full team. And they will tell you that their experiences in the Under-21s team helped them get there.

“Nathan is a great talent. He’s taken his chance and projected upwards so quickly.

“We came right through Rangers’ academy and he’s younger than me, so I’ve known him for a long time. I’m delighted to see him take his chance.

“Rangers have been really good in terms of liaising with me on loan and keeping contact.

“I was lucky to get some experience in pre-season but it was best for me to get experience on loan and exposure towards first-team football in a competitive league.”

Mayo is now one of Gemmill’s older and more experienced players, having been in the young Scots’ set-up since Under-17 level.

He was part of the side who suffered heartache in the last campaign when they fell short of qualifying for their first Euro Finals in 25 years.

And he reckons Scotland have nothing to be afraid of in Turkey – despite their depleted numbers.

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He said: “One of the most important things you learn in international football is you can beat anyone on your day.

“We must focus on ourselves and, if we get that right, we are capable of getting results.

“It’s disappointing that we have lost a lot of players but we have some quality players to replace them.”

Mayo spent last season on loan at Dunfermline after an initial loan spell at the Jags was cut short because of the season being ended early.

He said: “First-team football has helped me a lot – and we’ve got the crowds now, which is a big lesson and one that I am enjoying.

“Thistle have started really strongly this season and we will use that as a platform then see where it takes us.

“I played in a few positions last year but, long-term, I see myself as a centre-half.

“The loans have helped as you’ve got to communicate with other people around you.”