Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Boyd happy to bide time at Rangers

Kris Boyd has insisted he will not quit Rangers next summer if he fails to secure a place in Walter Smith's Champions League plans.

Smith has repeatedly refused to pick Boyd in European games since returning to the Ibrox hotseat in January 2007.

The latest snub arrived on Wednesday as top scorer Boyd sat on the bench while Rangers opened their Champions League Group G account with a 1-1 draw at Stuttgart.

The 26-year-old walked away from Scotland because of a lack of opportunities. But asked if he would take similar action at Ibrox should he continue to be frozen out, Boyd said: “No. I want to play at Rangers and whatever happens will happen. If I get a chance, I'm sure I'll go and try to do my best.”

Boyd admits he can have no complaints about being left out of the side if Rangers progress to the knockout stage without him.

“If we go through then I can't argue,” said the forward, who would have been sold to Birmingham in January if he could have agreed personal terms with the midlands club.

“It's up to me to be ready when another chance comes.”

He added: “I said that I wanted to be involved this year and hopefully I can. So I look forward to that and hopefully when I do get the chance, I can take it.”

Boyd tends to miss out in European games due to Smith preferring a 4-5-1 formation, with Kenny Miller as the lone front man. The tactic worked when Rangers reached the 2007 UEFA Cup final and it also paid off in Germany.

Boyd said: “Obviously, I'd like to play but the team comes first and the gaffer set up like that.

“We got our rewards from it; we came back with a point, which was a good result at the end of it.”

Boyd's best hope of playing in Europe appears to lie in Smith playing a more adventurous system in Rangers' home games.

Asked if it was possible Smith might do this, Boyd said: “I'm sure, come the Sevilla game, or the Romanian team, he might.”

The striker joked he might need to follow Lee McCulloch's example and agree to play as a makeshift centre-half. Boyd was full of praise for the utility man, who would not have played last night had captain David Weir been fit.

“If you look back, Lee's gone from playing left-midfield in the Premier League — even at international level — to playing centre-half in the Champions League and doing really well,” Boyd said of McCulloch, whose next assignment will be tomorrow’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League game at Kilmarnock.

“Saturday will be another challenge for him, against Kevin Kyle. But I'm sure it's one he can cope with.”

McCulloch will definitely start against Killie, even if Weir recovers, as Madjid Bougherra is suspended for the trip to Rugby Park.

After making headlines for all the wrong reasons by getting sent off at Motherwell last weekend, Bougherra was the hero last night with an equaliser of which Boyd would have been proud.

He said: “I said before if there's anybody who deserved a goal, it was him, because his performances for a long time now have been outstanding.”