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Aluko holds key for Rangers: Wylde

By Lisa Gray

Gregg Wylde has urged Rangers to secure Sone Aluko on a long-term deal — despite the extra competition for himself.

Aluko joined the Scottish champions in November until the end of the season, with an option of a further two years at Ibrox.

The former Aberdeen winger has impressed so far and boss Ally McCoist has already stated his desire to see him remain at Ibrox beyond the summer.

Aluko's arrival has made Wylde's own task of holding down a place in the side more difficult, but he has backed the manager's views on retaining the player’s services.

He said: “He has done well so far. He has ability and he can get past players.

“He can play on the left or the right or off the striker. It would be good to keep him at Ibrox for as long as possible.”

He added: “The competition keeps me on my toes. Lee Wallace is playing on the left-hand side and there are a lot of wingers on the other side.

“Everybody just has to be on their toes and, when picked by the gaffer, be ready to go.”

Wylde has told McCoist he is fit and ready for action as he now aims to force his way back into the manager's plans. The 20-year-old winger has started the last three matches on the bench having previously enjoyed a run of games in the starting line-up.

He has been taking advice from veteran skipper David Weir — who has been unable to reclaim his own place in the side following injury — and will not allow his confidence to be affected by his recent lack of action.

But Wylde is now keen to stake a claim again and is hoping to be pitched into tomorrow's Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash at St Johnstone.

He said: “It is a bit disappointing to be back on the bench.

“I just need to work hard in training and show the gaffer what I can do and hopefully get back into the starting XI as soon as possible. As long as the team is doing really well, I'm happy to be on the bench or starting.

“Players like David Weir have spoken to me and told me it's just part and parcel of being a young boy and to take it on the chin.

“Hopefully I'll get picked on Saturday. I've been training well and I feel fresh and I feel fit and ready to go if I get back into the side.

“I think the gaffer knows what I can do and hopefully I can get a game.”

Rangers head to McDiarmid Park trailing leaders Celtic by two points in the title race and Wylde wants the Scottish champions to emulate Celtic's recent form. He said: “If you look at Celtic, they have been brilliant. They have been unbeaten for a while, they are scoring goals and boys like Anthony Stokes and Gary Hooper are on fire at this moment in time.”

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