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Cole developing a taste for the grand occasion

Rangers youngster Darren Cole has set his sights on the Old Firm derby after his shock debut in the Champions League against Bursaspor.

The 18-year-old defender had not even featured on the bench for the first team when he was thrust into the spotlight in Turkey earlier this month.

He described his 80 minutes in the European clash as “the best feeling” but believes playing a part in the January 2 meeting with Celtic would top even his Champions League experience.

Cole said: “Although the Champions League is massive, the Old Firm derby is one of the biggest games and that's a game I would most hope to play in.

“I was a Hearts supporter when I first came here but I'm a Rangers fan now and I know that to play against Celtic would be the biggest thing for me.”

The teenager admits his dramatic step up to the senior side has not quite sunk in yet after being given his big break by boss Walter Smith in the final Group C game.

He said: “It was one of the best feelings I've had in my life stepping onto that pitch and hopefully I can keep it going.

“It was a massive surprise to me. If it wasn't for the lads keeping me going through the game it would have been quite hard, but they helped me a lot. A lot of the younger lads are getting the chance to play and hopefully it can help me become better.”

Fellow youngster Kyle Hutton made his Champions League bow against Manchester United last month, while Gregg Wylde has also made the breakthrough to the top team in recent weeks.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph