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Dean Shiels keen to break Hearts

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland midfielder Dean Shiels would love a crack at the old enemy Hearts in a must win game for Rangers tonight.

Too often since signing from Kilmarnock in 2012, Shiels has been on the outside looking in at Rangers but still believes he can make an impact at Ibrox.

The 29-year-old is the first to admit that he has under achieved with the Glasgow outfit, who are still bogged down by financial uncertainty, though he does point out that his goals per game ratio is one every 2.5 appearances, which begs the question why he hasn't featured more often.

He hopes to do so at home to a rampant Hearts side this evening and given that he was a regular tormentor of the Edinburgh side when he was a popular player at Hibs, Shiels feels he could make a difference for Rangers.

Somebody needs to. With Ally McCoist departing as boss and Kenny McDowall taking over it has been a difficult season in the dressing room for the Gers as well as in the boardroom.

On the pitch they have fallen 13 points behind leaders Hearts in the race for automatic promotion to the Scottish Premiership.

"Obviously, this is a must win game and we believe we can do it," said Shiels, winner of 14 caps.

"We know how important it is and if we win it'll be interesting to see how they react. There's a long way to go.

"We have to keep believing because leads like Hearts' have been blown before.

"I'd love to play. I've scored four or five against them before and hit the winner in a derby that got Hibs into Europe under Tony Mowbray. I've never been popular with Hearts fans."

On his frustrating lack of game time, Shiels stated: "I want to turn it round and start games. I've contributed bits and pieces when I've come in or started but every player wants to play all the time.

"I know I haven't played enough this season and want to rectify that by working hard on the training pitch and be ready when I'm picked. I'm not sure if the change in manager will make a difference to me. My minutes to goals ratio was actually the best in League One last year and it's been quite good this season too."

There has been talk about Shiels leaving Glasgow this month.

The midfielder, however, would prefer to stay, saying: "It's an open market right now but I'm not looking to leave the club. All I'm concentrating on is getting Rangers back to the top tier. It's what I aimed to do when I got here and it's what I still intend to do."

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