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Clint Hill already aware Rangers fans expect him to be at his peak

By Andy Newport

Published 11/08/2016

Fitting in: Clint Hill bagged a brace against Peterhead
Fitting in: Clint Hill bagged a brace against Peterhead

Rangers defender Clint Hill admitted it took just one game for his eyes to be opened to the standards expected at Ibrox.

The Light Blues were frustrated last Saturday when Hamilton spoiled their Ladbrokes Premiership comeback party by claiming a 1-1 draw at Ibrox.

Hill and former QPR team-mates Joey Barton and Niko Kranjcar made their league debuts but the star of the show was Accies' Ali Crawford, who struck a sensational opener to put Martin Canning's team ahead.

Gers eventually levelled through Martyn Waghorn but not before the sold-out home support let their side know just how dissatisfied they were with a series of loud groans.

That left veteran centre-back Hill in little doubt he will have more demands placed on his shoulders by the Rangers faithful than any other support he has played in front of.

However, he hopes Tuesday night's 5-0 Betfred Cup romp over Peterhead will have won him some grace ahead of Saturday's league trip to Dundee.

The 37-year-old said: "Last Saturday was an eye-opener. Even just walking out of the tunnel, you know what's expected of you.

"We couldn't finish Hamilton off so Tuesday was a positive in terms of coming out, getting on the ball and taking our chances.

"If we'd taken our chances on Saturday we'd have three points. It was a disappointing result and the fans let us know. We're at Rangers and you don't want to drop points at home.

"We responded against Peterhead, having made changes. It gives us a good springboard."

Kranjcar fired Gers ahead against Peterhead with a sensational opener, then sent over two corners which Hill finished off as he grabbed his first goals for the club and his maiden brace.

Hill said: "It was an added bonus. I've been lucky enough to score the odd goal, but never two. It was a special moment."

The crushing win was completed thanks to a Fiacre Kelleher own goal and Joe Dodoo's second Gers strike.

Boss Mark Warburton had used the occasion to give some of his other recent recruits like Matt Gilks, Lee Hodson and Jordan Rossiter time to acclimatise and Hill believes the new faces are quickly finding their feet.

"The boys came in and did brilliantly," he said. "Jordan Rossiter showed his promise again. Joe scored his first Ibrox goal, which was brilliant. It shows the strength we have in the squad."

Hill was one of nine summer signings made by Warburton but the influx will not stop there, with the boss hopeful of adding another striker and defender.

But Hill is not worried about losing his place so soon after making the switch to Glasgow.

He said: "That's something I'd welcome because I think you need four centre-backs. You need to embrace competition. The more players that come in and the more quality players that come in, it can only improve us."

Belfast Telegraph

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