Boyd will fire Rangers to Old Firm victory: Davis
Steven Davis has urged Rangers to do all they can to ensure Kris Boyd remains at Ibrox beyond the January transfer window.
Striker Boyd has yet to agree a new deal with the Scottish champions and has thrust himself firmly into the spotlight after replacing Henrik Larsson as the all-time top goalscorer in the Scottish Premier League.
He netted five goals against Dundee United on Wednesday night to write his name into the history books and Davis is well aware there will plenty more admiring glances in Boyd's direction in the month ahead.
Only a failure to agree personal terms this time last year saw a move to Birmingham collapse and he has been linked with Newcastle, Trabzonspor and Kayserspor in Turkey and French club Sochaux since then.
Rangers fans have already made it clear they want the prolific hitman to remain at Ibrox and midfielder Davis has revealed everyone in the dressing room feels the same.
“From the players' point of view we think it's vital that we keep hold of him,” he said.
“I don't think there are many players who can guarantee you 20 goals-plus a season and Boydy's done that since I've been here.
“I think he's probably one of the most lethal finishers around and obviously we're desperate to keep him here.”
Davis watched Boyd almost single-handedly crush United as Rangers romped to a 7-1 win and summed up the striker in one word.
“Phenomenal,” he said. “I think that's what he's all about, really. He took all his five goals really well and there was a good mix of goals obviously with the free-kick as well. He's playing really well at the minute off the ball and still scoring the goals as well so we're delighted he's broken the record.”
Boyd has been criticised in the past for not scoring in the “big games” but will have a chance to answer his detractors in tomorrow's Old Firm derby.
Davis said: “I think the whole month of December they've been really important games for us and he's been producing the goods and getting the goals. It's great that he's in our team and playing really well.”
Boyd has netted just one goal against Celtic in his career so far but Davis added: “The way he's playing, if we can create the chances for him then nine times out of 10 he'll score. Hopefully, he can do that at Parkhead for us.”
If Boyd does impress at Parkhead on Sunday, he will have to do it without strike partner Kenny Miller, who yesterday lost his appeal against a straight red card in Wednesday's game.
“Kenny's been playing magnificently for us and he's been one of our best players on the run we've been on and managed to get amongst the goals as well,” said Davis.
“So he'll be a big miss for us. It gives the manager a little headache. Somebody else will come in and hopefully do a job for us.”
Meanwhile, manager Walter Smith admits he would find it difficult to leave Boyd out of the starting line-up for the clash against Celtic on his current form.
He said: “He has missed quite a few Celtic games in the time that I've been back but he also played in a few of them as well. Right at the present moment, the team is doing extremely well and I don't envisage a situation where you would go along there and play without him.”
And he insists the striker's disappointing record against the Hoops means nothing heading into this match.
He added: “I don't think it puts any extra pressure on him. He accepts the pressure he has of being our leading goalscorer for a number of years.”
Kenny Miller's suspension the derby has opened up a vacancy in the Rangers attack — and Kyle Lafferty looks favourite to fill the void. But John Fleck will be hoping the knock-on effect will be a substitute's role for himself in what would be only his second appearance against Celtic.
The 18-year-old said: “I've been involved again this season and that's all I can really ask for. Even if it's from the bench for now, that's okay with me.”