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I couldn’t resist the lure of huge club like Rangers, admits Joe Garner

By Andy Newport

Published 26/08/2016

Joe Garner jumped at the chance to play for Rangers
Joe Garner jumped at the chance to play for Rangers

Joe Garner admits he had to grab his chance to join Rangers — because he feared he might not get another shot at the big time. The former Preston frontman begged Deepdale boss Simon Grayson to allow him to speak to Gers last week.

And he was delighted when a £1.5m deal was struck with the SkyBet Championship outfit. The 28-year-old (right) knows what it is like to shoulder the responsibility of playing for a major club having previously spent time with Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest.

But he confessed he was worried he would end up with regrets if he knocked back his Ibrox switch.

“I’ve played at massive clubs before like Nottingham Forest but I think Rangers is the biggest I’ve played for,” said the former England youth international.

“I think it would be fair to say that, at 28, I had to grasp this opportunity because I wasn’t sure if I’d get another like it.

“When I heard about the interest, it was something my family and I couldn’t turn down.”

Garner admits there is pressure on him after Warburton shelled out his biggest fee yet as Gers boss. Previously, the Englishman had not spent more than the £500,000 which secured Michael O’Halloran from St Johnstone back in January but Garner’s price tag is an indication of the value Warburton thinks he can bring to his side.

However, Garner hopes he can find the net on a regular basis,  as he did when rattling home 27 goals during Preston’s promotion campaign two years ago.

He said: “You could say (there is more pressure because of the fee). It’s a massive club and a big fee. I can put pressure on myself or take it in my stride and embrace it.”

Garner should make his debut against Kilmarnock in tonight’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash at Rugby Park. But his eye has already drifted down the fixture list to next month’s Old Firm duel with Celtic.

“My phone has been ringing non-stop with people looking for tickets,” he said. “They’re like gold dust. But we’ve got Kilmarnock first. That’s a massive game and we’ll be looking to take three points first. But you can tell the city is already getting ready for the Old Firm game.”

  • Kilmarnock v Rangers, Scottish Premiership: Rugby Park, 7.45pm

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