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Little relishing fight to earn status of Rangers hero

By Lisa Gray

Rangers striker Andy Little has welcomed the prospect of competition for places this season as boss Ally McCoist steps up plans to strengthen his squad.

The Northern Ireland international impressed towards the end of last season and committed himself to a new deal with the Glasgow giants despite their status as an Irn-Bru Third Division club.

McCoist is seeking to add further firepower and is hopeful of completing the signing of former St Johnstone striker Francisco Sandaza, while ex-Hearts forwards Craig Beattie and Kevin Kyle also remain an option.

Little said: “I still feel like it's in my hands. If I do well and play like I did towards the end of last season and go about my business properly, I know I've got a good chance of playing.

“I don't want to be in any sort of comfort zone where I'm not working hard every week to get into the team.

“I'm glad to see they are bringing in players and there's going to be competition for places.

“You never expect to be at Rangers and not have competition for places in the starting 11.”

Rangers began a new chapter in the club's history with a difficult Ramsdens Cup tie against Brechin, which required extra-time to see off the Second Division side. Next up is the visit of East Fife in the Scottish Communities League Cup tonight.

While the SPL’s probe into Rangers’ alleged improper registration of players contracts between 2000 and 2010 continues and previous owner Sir David Murray denied any wrongdoing, the club’s former manager, Alex McLeish, warns that he’ll punch anyone who attempts to repossess the medals he won during his time at Ibrox.

McLeish, who managed the club between 2002-2006, when they won seven domestic trophies, said: “Every single day seems to bring something negative for Rangers. Hopefully, a line can be drawn soon and Rangers can enhance the Scottish game again.

“As for stripping titles, it would be very disappointing if that was to happen to Rangers and I don’t believe it should — and if a guy turns up at my door looking for the medals back, they’ll be getting a right-hander! If they officially took away the titles, it would be difficult for me to accept.”

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