Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football Scottish

Lafferty can learn from my Rangers mistakes, says Amoruso

By Graham Luney

A lot of people have probably given Kyle Lafferty some advice as he attempts to become a Rangers favourite but he would also learn a lot from Lorenzo Amoruso.

Lafferty has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons at Ibrox but he’s travelling down a road Amoruso knows very well.

He may have scored the goal against Hibernian that secured the league title for Rangers but it was a bitter-sweet season for the Kesh man.

The famous altercation with Aberdeen’s Charlie Mulgrew when the striker feigned injury to get his opponent sent off and a bust-up with skipper Davie Weir added weight to the suggestion that Lafferty was more trouble than he was worth. And he was worth a lot in Rangers’ eyes — £3.25m in fact when he signed from Burnley.

Amoruso knows what it’s like to have to fight off a wave of criticism. Supporters booed him and he fell out with then Gers boss Dick Advocaat on several occasions. The Italian also had to apologise after directing racist comments at Borussia Dortmund’s Nigerian striker Victor Ikpeba and he was hit with a four-match ban for spitting at James Grady.

The first Catholic man to captain Rangers could point Lafferty in the right direction before its too late.

“Every player is responsible for his own actions,” said Amoruso. “When you find yourself in that situation there is often a reason why. Players are different in the sense that they will react a different way.

“Certain players will have problems like these and they just have to deal with them as best they can. You only get so many chances at a club to make a difference and you can’t go on behaving in a way that will do you no favours.

“We are professional footballers for 15 or 20 years and you don’t want any regrets in your career. If you can stay out of trouble the more happiness and success you are going to have in your career.”

Amoruso, who was backing Tennents’ sponsorship deal with the Old Firm, won three SPL titles at the Gers.

His passion for the club has not faded and was clear to see as he supported the NARSA Convention in Las Vegas this year.

Even though Walter Smith’s side won the championship last season, a player exodus has let the Ibrox faithful nervous ahead of a new campaign starting this weekend with the champions at home to Kilmarnock today (3pm).

They did, however, sign Stoke striker James Beattie yesterday — which could further hamper Lafferty’s progress at Ibrox.

“The fact that Walter (Smith) and Ally (McCoist) are still there shows how strong the feeling is between the club and the manager,” Amoruso added.

“I know a few players have gone but I believe that the spirit and happiness in this team will keep going on, even if things are not looking bright. It is a big challenge for the manager but Ally has gained vital experience and he has learned a lot more about dealing with the players and press.

“You take the good memories from managers and Ally will be the same.

“If Rangers can go through in the Champions League then they can attract more players and get stronger, both on the pitch and financially. The club is still a big attraction to me.”

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph