Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football Scottish

Little’s big hopes for Rangers

Andrew Little admits Rangers are desperate to make amends for last year's Co-operative Insurance Cup final defeat to Celtic by lifting the trophy this time around.

The Ibrox side will battle for the first silverware of the season with St Mirren next month after a 2-0 win over St Johnstone in Wednesday’s semi-final.

The loss to Celtic is manager Walter Smith's only defeat in a domestic cup tie since his return in January 2007 and Ulsterman Little has revealed how that disappointment still rankles almost 12 months on.

“We want to win every competition that we enter,” said the young forward. “It was disappointing last year, we didn't perform and we don't like to lose anything, especially to Celtic.

“It's a real rivalry and hopefully we can keep doing what we are doing in the league and the cup competitions are a bonus.”

However, Little believes talk of a domestic treble is premature even though Rangers are already in one cup final and boast a 10-point advantage over Celtic at the top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

He added: “It's really early doors and everyone is getting a wee bit far ahead of themselves.

“The manager has said it enough times, the next game is the most important so we take it one game at a time and hopefully we find ourselves in finals and hopefully win the league.”

Little's main concern at the moment is staying in the manager's plans long enough to play a part at Hampden, and he believes teenagers Danny Wilson and John Fleck are leading the way for the rest of the youngsters at Rangers.

“I'd love to be back here for the final and we'll just wait and see what happens,” he said.

“I'm sure there will be more bodies back by then, we've got a lot of injured players coming back now. If I'm involved, I'm involved. If not, I'll keep plugging away and hopefully make an impact.

“That's my aim, I want to be part of the squad and the last month or so has been really good.

“I've made a few more appearances and the goal I scored against Hearts was massive for my confidence. Danny and Flecky have shown the way and I want to follow what they have done and push in there and make a real impact on the team and not just make up the numbers.”

Little, 20, is realistic enough to know he will still be well behind strike partnership Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller in the pecking order when the pair are both back to full fitness, but believes he still has a role to play in the squad.

He said: “I don't expect to play in front of the likes of Kenny and Boydy when they come back.

“But when I get my wee chances — my five, 10, 20 minutes — I want to make as big an impression and as good an impression as I can on the manager.

“Hopefully I've shown him something in the last month or two and hopefully I can get more bits and pieces but, for the sake of the team, we really want all those players back.”

Rangers failed to strengthen at all in the transfer window; good news for the Murray Park stars of the future according to Little.

He said: “It might not be an ideal situation for the club but, on a personal level and for all the young boys, it's a great opportunity to try to get playing and push ourselves into the squad.”

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph