THERE was a sense of relief as much as joy in the celebrations as Cedric Itten marked his first two goals for Rangers on Sunday. They could be the first of many.

The striker knows all about having to be patient in the game and while the wait to open his account following his move to Ibrox this summer would have been frustrating, it is doubtful that it would have unduly concerned him or boss Steven Gerrard.

Itten has overcome adversity to get where he is today. Two years ago, he was sidelined for several months after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament and suffering medial collateral damage, but he would remain on track despite an injury that could have derailed his career.

It says much about Itten’s mentality, as well as his ability, that he has put such a setback behind him, and he could complete the recovery by earning a place at the European Championships next summer.

Vladimir Petkovic, the Switzerland manager, is an admirer of Itten’s talents and is closely monitoring him this term with a view to including him in his squad for the finals. Goals against Georgia and Gibraltar last year showed that Itten can handle the step up to international football and the self-belief he has in himself will drive him as he looks to establish himself for club and country.

It was a shame, really, that there were only a handful of people inside Fir Park to see Itten open his account, but it was clear how much those moments meant to him and his team-mates. On an afternoon of several positives, Itten’s cameo off the bench was certainly one of the main ones for Gerrard to take.

His first strike of the afternoon – and Rangers’ fourth against Motherwell - was one of power and precision as the ball was rifled beyond the helpless Trevor Carson from the edge of the area. When he doubled his tally in the closing minutes, he showed smart instincts and a striker’s nous to convert at the near post.

Gerrard spoke about the goals doing Itten’s confidence ‘the world of good’ after the 5-1 victory and the Swiss forward now has something to build on after a somewhat slow start to his Ibrox career.

There has been a combination of factors – not least the calf injury that kept him out of action for a couple of weeks – that have contributed to that. Now he is off and running in terms of goals and must continue to improve and impress.

Having arrived from St Gallen as an unknown quantity, few supporters had an idea of what to expect from Itten. As the headlines were dominated by the future of Alfredo Morelos and the arrival of Kemar Roofe, the 23-year-old settled into his new surroundings with little fuss.

Given his age and relative lack of experience, that was no bad thing. Itten was brought to Ibrox to play a part this season, but Rangers see a bright future ahead of him and there was never any need to place undue pressure on his shoulders given the options that Gerrard has at his disposal in the forward areas.

His first 45 minutes of action came off the bench against St Mirren and St Johnstone and, in matches that were well won by the time of his introduction, it was hard to get a judge of Itten as he looked to get up to speed. Against Livingston on the Sunday of that week, he couldn’t emerge off the bench as the hero for Gerrard’s side on a day where nothing seemed to go right for Rangers in the final third.

With Morelos dropped for the visit of Kilmarnock, Itten was handed his first start in a new-look forward line that included Roofe, Ryan Kent and Brandon Barker. His efforts went unrewarded in terms of goals, but there was praise from Gerrard as he showed his versatility and ability to operate in different roles in the free-flowing Rangers attack.

The fact that it was Kent that he replaced on Sunday was another sign that Itten can be flexible in his play and Gerrard will have four very different, but very effective, strikers at his disposal once Roofe follows Jermain Defoe and returns from injury.

The shape of the Rangers attack still depends on Morelos to a large extent and if the Colombian is sold before the end of the window then many supporters would like to see another striker brought in.

The loss of Morelos would heighten the necessity for the likes of Itten to become a more regular scorer and that is the challenge for him now that he has netted his first two goals.

He remains a work in progress, but the reputation earned in his homeland was not without justification and those that have trained with him don’t question his ethic or his willingness to learn.

There is clearly a player in there, and a good one at that. There would be no time like the present for Itten to now kick-on and show what he is all about for Rangers.