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Bougherra back as Rangers seek big Euro cash boost

Rangers manager Walter Smith has confirmed that defender Madjid Bougherra will play against Bursaspor after recovering from a hamstring injury.

The Algeria defender has not played since his club's 2-0 victory over Aberdeen on November 13, but he flew out to Turkey yesterday morning for tomorrow’s Champions League clash.

Smith said: “He (Bougherra) will play, he is fine. He has been able to get his training done, but he is fit.”

James Beattie is pushing for his first start for two months following hip problems.

With Kyle Lafferty expected to be out for up to two months after breaking a bone in his hand last month while getting off the team coach, Beattie's return could afford Kenny Miller a rest.

Smith added: “Beattie might play up front in place of Miller, it depends how we go, but that is something we will look at.”

Rangers are already out of the Champions League following their late 1-0 defeat by Manchester United and are assured of a place in the Europa League ahead of Bursaspor, who have yet to collect a point.

Rangers need at least a draw and more probably a win to have any chance of securing their place in the top half of the draw for the last 32, alongside the Europa League group winners.

Although interested party Craig Whyte last week held talks with Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston over a proposed takeover, the club remain in dire need of the £750,000 prize money on offer for winning the game.

And Ally McCoist says he will not allow takeover talks at Ibrox to distract him from his dreams of becoming the next Rangers manager.

McCoist said: “I am only concerned that the takeover, if and when it comes. is successful for Rangers Football Club. That's what I have said all along.

“I'm damned tooting if I was buying Rangers Football Club, I would want my own people running it. If that's the case you keep your fingers crossed that you are the person they want to run it. That's the way it is. But the most important thing is the football club, it always has been and always will be.

“My only concern is that we do get financial backing and the club can move forward.”

Meanwhile, McCoist believes the prospect of bringing Kris Boyd back from Middlesbrough can only be a dream. The former Rangers striker is reported to be keen to return to Ibrox following an unsuccessful seven-month spell at Middlesbrough.

But McCoist said: “I don't really have any thoughts on that because my reading of the situation is that it's not going to happen because we don't have any money to get anybody, whether it be Kris Boyd or anybody else.

“We don't have any money, it is simple as that, so we can dream but at this moment in time, nothing is going to happen.

Belfast Telegraph


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