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Inverness vs Rangers: It would be dangerous for Gers to single out King, warns Holt

By Andy Newport

Published 14/10/2016

To the point: Jason Holt is wary of Inverness’ threats
To the point: Jason Holt is wary of Inverness’ threats

Jason Holt has first-hand experience of the threat Inverness winger Billy King can pose - but reckons Rangers would be wrong to ignore the rest of the Caley Thistle ranks.

Ibrox midfielder Holt graduated from the same Hearts youth academy as King - who is currently on loan in the Highlands from Tynecastle.

The pair also spent six months together last season when King was farmed out by Jambos boss Robbie Neilson to help Mark Warburton's Gers seal their top-flight return.

And King has continued to impress since joining up with Richie Foran's side this term, smashing home a sensational long-range effort during last month's draw with Celtic.

But while his former team-mate Holt is well aware of the problems King will pose his side when Rangers head up the A9 for tonight's Ladbrokes Premiership clash, he does not want to take his eye off the dangers lurking in other areas of the Inverness line-up.

He said: "The guys who were here last year will all know what Billy can bring to their team and the ability he's got. We will need to be aware of that but as a team in general we know Inverness will make it tough. We need to be on top of our game.

"Inverness have been doing well recently and we're under no illusions - it is going to be difficult. We'll go with confidence and try to enforce our style of play from the start with a high intensity. From the first minute we will be on the front foot."

Holt endured a troubled start to the campaign as an ankle injury ruled him out of the opening month of action.

But the Joey Barton saga has opened up a slot in Warburton's midfield and the 23-year-old has taken advantage after re-establishing the partnership he formed with Andy Halliday last year.

His club boss has already suggested the recent displays of both men should put them in contention for Scotland honours.

That possibility will have to wait until the uncertainty over Gordon Strachan's future is resolved, but Holt insists he will not give up on his dream.

He said: "For both Andy and myself, it's just about working hard every day, keep trying to perform as well as we can for Rangers and then who knows?"

The Barton row continues to hang over the club like a dark cloud but Holt is pleased to be back alongside friend Halliday.

Now Holt is looking to build some momentum ahead of next weekend's Betfred Cup semi-final duel with Celtic, where the Light Blues will aim to gain revenge for their 5-1 Old Firm hammering five weeks ago.

"Andy and I can both play with any of the midfielders we have but we played together in nearly every game last year, so we've got a good relationship both on and off the park," he said.

"We know there is a Celtic game coming up, but our focus is fully on Inverness on Friday. We always take one game at a time and we don't look too far ahead, so we are just thinking about Friday."

Belfast Telegraph

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