Livingston boss Gary Holt has made his case to Rangers with respect to recalling Gers loanee Ryan Hardie by insisting the striker is only just returning to action and needs regular game time.

Hardie, who joined Livingston in January on a loan deal, missed the opening few months of the Scottish Premiership season due to a knee injury.

The 21-year-old returned to action during the defeat against Kilmarnock earlier this month and has netted three goals in as many appearances since then.

Hardie backed up his goal against St Mirren with an impressive brace against Hearts last Saturday as Livi ran out 5-0 winners at the Almondvale Stadium.

The striker’s resurgence coupled with Rangers’ poor run in front of goal, that has seen them score just twice in the last five matches, has given life to rumours that suggest the Gers might plan to recall Hardie in January.

However, Livi boss Holt has claimed that the striker is still only getting back to his best shape after the injury and insisted he needs more games at the club.

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"We're delighted with Ryan, but he has been out for eight months and only started two of the last three games”, Holt was quoted as saying by STV.

"He's still getting up to speed, we've three games he'll hopefully be involved in and then we'll assess it from there.

"We can do nothing about it [if Rangers recall him], we'll enjoy him whilst he is here, however long that may be."

Hardie, who is a product of the academy at Ibrox, has represented Scotland across various age groups.