FOR George Edmundson, his fellow defenders are inspiration as much as competition at Rangers.

The Englishman covets one of the spots that Connor Goldson and Nikola Katic currently occupy in Steven Gerrard's side, while fellow summer signing Filip Helander is also bidding for a chance to play and impress after joining from Bologna in a £3.5million deal.

In the four matches that Edmundson has played for Rangers - against St Joseph's, Progres, Kilmarnock and East Fife - this term, he has made a positive impression.

But he only needs to look at how Katic started brightly and then endured spells of frustration last season to know how quickly things can change at Ibrox.

That will inspire Edmundson, though. Those he is battling against will also help him improve.

"He’s a top player and a great defender," Edmundson said of Katic after an encouraging opening few weeks of the campaign for the Croatian. "We all help each other. If there’s something I think Niko can do more or that he’s really good at I’ll tell him and vice versa.

"If there’s something he sees in me he will do the same. Connor’s the same, he’s always pulling me to the side as a senior figure.

"He will take Niko and I over to do drills on defending crosses. It’s healthy competition.

"We are not out to get each other. If they have the shirt I support them and if I have it they would support me

"Niko is someone I look up to. Last season he was in the same situation that I am in now. He is someone I can learn from alongside Connor and Filip.

"He spoke to me and some of the staff have spoken about it to, how Niko was in and out but he kept going. They’ve told me to do the same, keep the head up and try and stay in the team when I get my chance."

The challenge that Edmundson is embracing is a new situation for him but it is not one that fazes him.

He is aware of the need to bide his time and to wait for his chance.

And there will be opportunities for him to come into the side as Rangers embark on a crucial run - starting against Livingston this weekend - at home and abroad.

Edmundson said: "The international break was good. I got some time away and it was nice. I went down the road then I went for some sun to try and get a tan.

"But we had an off-season programme to follow so I still had to do some running.

"The sports science guys give us a programme to cater to our needs. You get tested daily at Rangers so every is fit and ready to go.

"Yes [it's been frustrating not to get a run of games] but last season I saw Connor and Niko did really well towards the end of last season so it was only right that they should keep their place.

"I knew coming in I would have to fight for my place. I didn’t expect to come in here and start straight away. I need to earn the right to play and earn my place.

"The lads have done well so I can’ be saying I should be playing. The gaffer says it all the time if you are playing well you keep your shirt. They have done that from this season and they’ve carried on this season. It’s a long season and I will just have to wait and take my chance. I will push them and they will push me."

The centre-back spots have been the source of much debate amongst supporters in recent weeks despite Rangers' solid start to the season.

The mistake that Connor Goldson made in the defeat to Celtic has seen many question his place in the team.

It won't be one that troubles a player that Gerrard has upmost faith and confidence in, however.

Edmundson, speaking at the launch of the SPFL Match Attax 2019/20 trading card game, said: "He’s fine. He’s ready to go again. You are not going to go a full season and not make a mistake. He has learned from it and he will move onto the next game.

"It was disappointing. We didn’t feel we played our best but it’s early days and there’s a long way to go. There will be highs and lows along the way. It was a good experience even thought the result was not the best. But we have watched it back, we learn from it and we go again.

"The atmosphere was good. I feel like I know how big a club Rangers is. But the atmosphere will be better next time - when we win.

"It’s still early days in the season and I’m sure Celtic will slip up at some point. I don’t think they are going to go the whole season unbeaten. It was a little hiccup but there’s a long season with ups and downs to come."

*George Edmundson was speaking at the SPFL Match Attax 2019/20 launch – for more news and info follow @ToppsMatchAttax on Twitter and Facebook, @toppsmatchattax_ on Instagram and subscribe to MatchAttaxOFFICIAL on YouTube