JOSH MCPAKE knows there is no place like home. As he continues on his own journey, he is sure that all roads will lead back to Ibrox.

The 20-year-old isn’t short of influences and inspiration at Rangers and there are figures in the dugout and on the park that he can turn to at any time in search of help or advice.

In Ryan Kent, McPake has a perfect example to look up to. Kent has set the blueprint and his young protégé is now aiming to follow in his footsteps.

Kent would call four clubs – Coventry, Barnsley, Freiburg and Bristol City – home before he finally settled at Rangers in the summer of 2018.

He had clocked up the miles and the stops in search of experience and contentment, but it wasn’t until he was taken under Steven Gerrard’s guidance that he felt settled enough to finally cut ties with Liverpool.

McPake is embarking on a similar path. His move to Morecambe this summer saw him bring up the quartet of clubs after previously spending time with Dundee, Morton and Harrogate Town.

His time away from Glasgow has moulded him as a man and improved him as a player and he has the security of a long-term contract with the champions at the back of his mind. McPake is focused on the here and now, though.

Like Kent, he is happy to hit the road in search of opportunities. Time will tell if he can return to his parent club and fulfil his potential.

"Ryan did it similarly to what I am doing," McPake told Herald and Times Sport. "Obviously he was at Liverpool and I am at Rangers, two massive clubs, and the circumstances are similar.

"There were players in front of him at Liverpool, there are players in front of me at Rangers. At that point, you need to go out and prove yourself week in week out at different clubs and at different levels.

"It is quite weird how similar it has been, but I am in a very good position and I feel very happy here.

"When I look back, you go out on a loan and do well and you reap the benefits of it at the time. But you don’t really realise until you go back to Rangers and train with them and really see how much progress you have made.

"The loans have been massive for me and really spurred me on. From my first one at Dundee until now, I think I have come on a lot and I wouldn’t have got that if I hadn’t made those moves."

McPake has long been pinpointed as a player with a potentially bright future at Ibrox and the new deal that was signed in the summer – which ties him to Rangers until 2024 – is a sign of Gerrard’s faith in his talent.

The winger made just eight appearances for Dundee during his first stint away from Auchenhowie, while Morton fans saw him in action ten times in the opening months of the following campaign.

It was the switch to Harrogate that really kick-started his career, though. Four goals in 23 outings – including one at Wembley in the FA Trophy win over Concord Rangers – followed as he made his first move to England.

McPake said: "I appreciated Rangers a lot when I was there. But once you go out on loan and you see what is elsewhere, you do really grasp how good Rangers is, how massive a club it is and how professional it is.

"That helps you a lot because you are itching to get back to Rangers one day and prove that you are good enough to be there.

"I have spoken to a lot of the first team boys about it and it has been important to me from a young age.

"I went out on loan when I was 17 so I was playing above my age. It was important for me to go out on loan and get that experience of first team football.

"After that, I didn’t really want to go back to playing Academy football. I got the itch for it.

"Once I had that experience of first team football, I wanted it more and more and then it is about proving yourself at each level and moving up the ladder.

"It was so important for me to go out and learn new things. It takes time, obviously, because I am still young.

"Look at Ryan, he had five or six loans before he found the right one. It takes time to build up games and experience and then it will all come together at once."

That process is very much underway for McPake and he continues to go from strength to strength, now under the watchful eye of former Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson.

The Scotland youth international was one of Robinson’s first acquisitions at the start of the season and seven appearances have followed in the opening stages of the campaign.

Robinson’s methods and messages will shape McPake’s immediate prospects. The tutelage of Gerrard will determine his future aspirations.

McPake said: "The manager made it clear that I was part of his plans before I left. I had a very good loan spell at Harrogate and when I came back he was quite impressed.

"I got rewarded with the new contract and had a chat with him. The contract made sure that I was here for the future and not just the short term and I really appreciated that.

"I worked really hard for it. I had to come out of my comfort zone. It is not easy in Scotland, but coming down to England, moving away at a young age, it took me out of my comfort zone and I have really developed so far.

"I moved down to Harrogate last January and I got used to being away and down there. I loved it there.

"It is about moving out of the comfort zone, that is how you grow as a player and a person. I have loved moving away and seeing new places and there are a lot of brilliant clubs here. I have loved it off the park as well as on the park."

It is two years since McPake made his competitive debut for Rangers as he came off the bench during the Europa League qualifying round win over St Joseph’s at Ibrox.

He now has experience in Scotland’s second tier and two levels in the English lower leagues to his credit as he builds his career step by step.

Rangers fans will, McPake hopes, get to see the benefits of his loan spells for themselves. Right now, he is just grateful for the platform he has to build on.

"It has been brilliant and we have had a great start to the season," McPake said. "I have had a very good start as well so I am loving it so far.

"The manager has put a lot of trust in me. I was one of his first signings and that showed how much he wanted me. He has been absolutely brilliant with me.

"He has coached me a lot since I have been here. At the start, it was just getting used to his style of play and things like that.

"It is really starting to catch on now and he has been brilliant. He was at Motherwell and came to watch me a number of times and other people have given him recommendations about me. He watched me at Harrogate as well.

"The plan was to go to Harrogate and make a name for myself in England and I think I did that. I think this was the time to make the step up.

"I owe a massive thanks to Harrogate, especially the manager and the assistant there, as a young Scottish boy coming down to England. They had trust in me and played me so I owe a lot to them.

"I used that to get my name in England and have now made the step up to League One. That was always the plan."