Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Lafferty’s got what it takes: Ally

Ally McCoist has vowed to help Kyle Lafferty fulfil his potential and show he has the ability to be a top-class striker one day.

McCoist is more convinced than ever that Lafferty has what it takes to be a major player at Rangers after watching him claim a double in the Homecoming Scottish Cup against Hamilton.

The Northern Ireland international has so far failed to live up to a hefty price tag of more than £3million since his arrival from Burnley in the summer.

But the man who has scored more goals than anyone else for Rangers firmly believes he can play his part in bringing out the best in Lafferty and help him prove his doubters wrong.

"My own personal opinion is that he is a centre forward and that he will develop into a good centre forward," said Ibrox number two McCoist.

"A lot of people probably forget he is still relatively young but he has good experience as well, at international level with Northern Ireland.

"There are things that we will continue to work on in his movement and positioning but he is a completely different centre forward from Kris Boyd, Kenny Miller or Nacho Novo.

"I’m thrilled for him and I’m really looking forward to continuing to work with him because I really believe that in there is enormous potential and it’s our job to hopefully get it out."

As far as Lafferty is concerned, he has a simple way of dealing with the criticism which comes his way.

"I just ignore it," he said. "I just want to go out and play football and do my best for the team. Hopefully I’ve done that."

Lafferty hauled Rangers back into the quarter-final tie after Steven Whittaker’s opener had been cancelled out by former Celtic man Rocco Quinn.

Aaron then converted from the penalty spot and Steven Davis netted shortly after the restart, before Lafferty completed the rout as Rangers set up a last-four clash with St Mirren.

It was a far cry from the humbling 1-0 defeat at the hands of struggling Inverness on Wednesday night, which put a major dent in their title hopes.

Furious fans jeered the players off the park, with some undoubtedly questioning the team’s stomach for the fight as they contest three trophies this season.

But Lafferty was always confident that the shock defeat would be nothing more than a blip and that Rangers would be back on track against Accies.

"Everyone knew that Wednesday’s game was just a one-off," he said. "We really didn’t perform for the whole 90 minutes.

"But we went out and played in the right manner yesterday, passed the ball and worked our socks off and we got our reward.

"It’s really about character and how much heart you have. It’s a big club and everybody wants to do well. If we go out and do what we can do, we will win games."

Meanwhile, Former Rangers defender Davie Provan believes Ibrox boss Walter Smith should go with a strike force of Lafferty and Kris Boyd in Sunday's Old Firm Co-operative Insurance Cup final at Hampden.

Boyd was left on the bench as Lafferty and Kenny Miller were given preference in the Homecoming Scottish Cup win over Hamilton at Ibrox on Sunday, with the Irishman grabbing a brace in the 5-1 win which set up a semi-final tie against St Mirren.

Provan, who played for the Ibrox club in the 1960s, was glad to see Lafferty start to justify his big-money move from Burnley and nominated Boyd as the ideal partner for the clash with Celtic.

He said: "I'm very pleased for Lafferty.

"Hopefully, that's a turning point in his goalscoring career because a Rangers striker has got to score goals.

"I like Boyd. He has not been scoring too regularly recently but I would go with Boyd and Lafferty on Sunday.

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