Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

I'm going to help Rangers be great, say Chris Hegarty

Chris Hegarty (left) has made his Rangers debut

Chris Hegarty was glad to be given just a couple of hours' notice before making his long-awaited full Rangers debut.

The Dungannon teenager was handed a starting role in the 1-0 win over holders Falkirk in the Ramsdens Cup and delivered a solid performance at right-back.

Hegarty was a regular on the bench last season but had yet to make a first-team start until the second-round clash with the Bairns, which saw fellow Ulsterman Andy Little grab the only goal of the game.

And he says nerves would have been a factor had he been given too long to dwell on the prospect of finally making his senior bow.

Hegarty said: “I found out I was starting two and a half hours before the game and I think that was a good thing for me.

“I would have been nervous if I'd been told the day before so it wasn't a bad thing.

“I felt my performance was solid. The main thing was keeping a clean sheet and we did that. It was hard but that was the main thing for me.”

The 20-year-old, who came off the Dungannon Swifts production line, was the first player to sign for Rangers after the club was consigned to liquidation.

The youngster's previous Ibrox contract had expired and he penned a new one-year deal with the newco in June.

“The main reason is that I'm a Rangers fan and I want to stay at the club and help them win whatever they can and do my bit for the club,” said the Northern Ireland Under-21 skipper.

“The lads want it more than ever, just to prove a point to everyone. Everyone wants to win.

“Training is positive. Everything is positive now. We've got over what's happened to the club.”

Hegarty, who had a spell at Millwall, believes Rangers can win a quadruple of trophies this season, as they battle for honours in the Irn-Bru Third Division, the William Hill Scottish Cup, the Scottish Communities League Cup and the Ramsdens Cup.

He said: “I definitely think so. We're very positive about everything we're going for this year so I don't see why not.

“It would be brilliant and would tell everyone what the club is about. It's just a natural thing — everybody at the club wants to win.”

Manager Ally McCoist has again stressed the need to strengthen his squad before a 12-month transfer embargo kicks in on September 1.

Hegarty said: “We have a really good base of a squad just now and if the manager wants to bring in a few more players, it would really strengthen the squad.

“I think we've got a strong squad at the moment.

“But a bit of competition is not a bad thing at any club. You want to have competition because it drives you on and makes you want to work hard all the time.”

Rangers will now play host to Queen of the South in the Ramsdens Cup quarter-final on Sunday, September 9 but the fixture is likely to be moved as it falls on an international weekend.

Meanwhile, Rangers have announced a merchandising deal with Mike Ashley's Sports Direct.

A spokesperson for SportsDirect.com said the retail contract and potential investment from Ashley were “two completely different matters”.

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