Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Boyd is Rangers' golden boy: Naismith

Kris Boyd

Steven Naismith has hailed Kris Boyd as simply irreplaceable after the striker once again stole the show for Rangers.

Just when the club's Active Nation Scottish Cup replay against St Mirren looked set for extra-time, Boyd secured safe passage into the last eight of the competition when he grabbed the only goal of the game with just four minutes to go.

Fellow forward Naismith admits the prolific marksman was badly missed when he was sidelined for around four weeks after a double hernia operation.

And, as 22-goal Boyd edges closer to hitting top form again, Naismith claims there is no-one else quite like him.

“Boydy is just unbelievable in the box,” Naismith said.

“He's had a chance and put it away and that's why he is a vital player for us.

“He is massive for us. If you take his goals away, we lose a massive part of our team.

“When he was out with his hernia, the boys who came in did a good job. But you can't replace somebody of Boydy's quality.”

Naismith was drafted back into the team as Rangers made six changes from the side who beat Hibernian in style in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League. And ahead of tomorrow’s trip to St Johnstone (12:45pm) he confessed to being relieved at being back in manager Walter Smith’s plans after being left out in the cold at the weekend.

“It was good to get back in the team,” said Naismith.

“I faced the consequences of a bad game against Motherwell and I wasn't stripped at the weekend so it was good to get back in.”

However, he believes the extra competition for places now that Rangers finally have a full squad available can only be good for the team. Naismith — who has operated both up front and in midfield — admits lack of personnel has perhaps led to complacency on the pitch. “It keeps everybody on their toes now,” he said.

“We have been through phases in the season where there hasn't been much competition for places and the performances have maybe been a bit flat.

“But, with everybody back fit, everybody is putting everything into training and the manager is going to pick the best 11.”

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