Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Little makes a large impact for Rangers

Rangers 5 East Stirling 1: Andy Little grabbed his first hat-trick for Rangers then admitted he should have netted twice as many goals.

The Northern Ireland striker was on target as Rangers came from behind to clinch a 5-1 win over East Stirling in their first Irn-Bru Third Division game at Ibrox.

Little has now set his sights on plenty more goals this season as he aims to ensure he remains in manager Ally McCoist's plans.

Reflecting on his hat-trick, he said: “I probably could have had two. I was delighted to get my first hat-trick. It was really special, especially at Ibrox.

“The gaffer told me at half-time to go out and try to get my hat-trick and I think I tried a wee bit too hard at the start of the second half.

“It's something I've wanted for a while and hopefully it's the first of many.”

Little's Ibrox career has been blighted by injury but he impressed towards the end of last season and is determined to make an impact this term no matter where he is asked to play.

He added: “I want to play through the middle if I can.

“We've brought in a few players, predominantly strikers, and I've been playing out on the right.

“I'm happy to play that role, as long as I'm getting games. That's my main aim this season, to try to play 30, 40 games.

“Hopefully I'll get some chances to play through the middle but for now I'm more than happy to play out there.”

The Shire took a shock lead through a Paul Quinn penalty after just three minutes.

But the hat-trick from Little, a goal on his first start for Francisco Sandaza and a late strike from Lee McCulloch ensured the three points for Rangers.

Little said: “We're wary that if we give these teams a bit of belief, it really spurs them on. We wanted to start the game well and get a goal so that wasn't the plan but we dug deep and got a couple of goals.

“In the second half we showed that we could probably have had a lot more.”

Quinn claimed he was not nervous when he stepped up for the spot-kick but revealed he had to battle Michael Herd — who won the penalty — for the ball.

He said: “I wasn't really intimidated at all. I knew where I was putting the ball and didn't change.

“The only doubt was when the other boy tried to pick up the ball but my name is on the board so he was never getting it. It was great for me to score at Ibrox.”

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