THE class is permanent with Steven Davis. For Gary McAllister, his form right now is perhaps the best he has ever produced.

At 34, the Northern Irishman is in the twilight of his career but there are no signs of the years catching up with him or the hard yards for club and country hindering him.

There are a handful of players that have impressed in what has been an encouraging start to the campaign for Rangers and Davis has certainly been amongst their top performers.

That is no surprise to McAllister, though, and he is confident there is plenty more to come from his midfield maestro.

“It is the control that he gives us,” McAllister said. “There are moments when you are sitting at the side during games and the team needs to get control, get some touches again and get some momentum. Steven is generally there.

“He is a very brave player. He receives the ball under pressure. He is streetwise.

“I don’t know if I have seen him play better. You guys might have seen more of him when he played up here the first time. I didn’t see a great deal of him then.

“But some of the football he is playing just now is really good. He is not just such a constructive player, he is also snapping into tackles in front of the back four. He is winning a lot of ball and intercepting things. He looks really sharp.

“He also makes those runs from deep on occasion and that can surprise the opposition. Against Hibs, he won the ball, drove through their defence and stood the ball up for Jermain to score at the back post.

“He is just on top of his game at the moment.”

When Davis returned to Ibrox from Southampton in January, it understandably took him time to find his feet after a frustrating recent spell in the Premier League.

He is now fully fit and match sharp and his influence could be crucial both on and off the park as Rangers bid for domestic silverware once again.

McAllister said: “He is a player who knows the demands here. He is passing that on every day. He trains how he plays.

“If you look at our goalkeeper and up through the spine of the team, we have guys who are setting the levels.

“As a midfield player, my eye is always drawn to the middle of the park. Because, personally, I always think games are won and lost in that area.

“Obviously, strikers scoring goals is the ultimate aim. But generally, if you control the middle of the park you win games.

“From where I am sitting, we are playing a lot of good football and showing a lot of control just now. Part of that is tactically, but also technically as well.

“Some of the play is very intricate. We are taking risks and being brave.”

When Davis was winning league titles and lifting cups during his first Ibrox stint, he was surrounded by players who had the quality and character to make it with Rangers.

Gerrard has added both ingredients to his squad over the last 12 months and the early signs are promising for Rangers this term.

“He is probably not as vocal as I thought he might be given his experience but he leads differently,” McAllister said. “He does that by his play and his bravery getting on the ball. He doesn’t shy away from it.

“That sends messages right through the team. Some people look at bravery as launching yourself into massive tackles. But receiving the ball with four men around you in a tight area to help a team mate – that’s bravery.

“One guy I haven’t mentioned yet in that respect is Connor Goldson. He hasn’t put a foot wrong.

“Tav is key to our tactics and our play as well as being captain. And he is looking sharp as well.

“We are in a good place. We are confident and should be bouncing into games. But it is about that buzzword – momentum – and keeping it going.”

Davis is not the only midfielder to have made an immediate impression this season and the likes of Ryan Jack and Joe Aribo have been just as important to Gerrard’s side.

In many ways, Gerrard and his right hand man are spoiled for choice in the middle of the park.

McAllister said: “We have added Aribo to it and he has the ability to maybe go and play a line higher. That’s something we might look at.

“We have added Andy King as well and young Doc (Greg Docherty) has really benefited from going down to Shrewsbury. He got over 35 games there and was their player of the year. It’s nice and healthy in there.

“The younger midfield players definitely benefit from working beside Steven. He doesn’t just skip through training. What you see at the weekend is what we see here at the training centre every day.

“We don’t flog people in training. With the amount of games we play, it is short and sharp. And Steven is always one who is particularly lively.”