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Rangers boss McCoist praises ex-Dungannon starlet Hegarty

By Lisa Gray

Northern Ireland under-21 international Chris Hegarty has won a huge verbal pat on the back from Rangers manager Ally McCoist.

And it’s not only the quality of the 20-year-old’s own individual performances that have won his praise from the boss, but his influence on others too.

Rangers go into today’s meeting with Clyde at Ibrox on the back of a 10-match unbeaten record, with Hegarty playing in the last seven of those.

With four clean sheets in that time the evidence of how well the Dungannon man has performed is there for all to see, although a ringing endorsement from the manager always helps.

McCoist believes that Hegarty is now is bringing out the best in Ross Perry, who has returned to fitness and form after struggling before a month-long break following surgery on a hernia problem.

“I don’t think the fact Chris Hegarty has been doing so well has done Ross any harm, if I tell you the truth,” said McCoist.

“I think Ross has looked at Chris and seen his aggression and enthusiasm to play and it is rubbing off on him.

“It certainly looked that way when he came on in the second half at Elgin and I thought he was very solid.

“He won a couple of good tackles and certainly got on the end of a couple of really good headers for us as well.”

Rangers are now well on track to start moving back towards the Scottish Premier League by winning the Third Division as they lead the table by six points with a match in hand.

And McCoist can look back on the last meeting with Clyde back in October, that yielded a first away win of the season as significant.

“You could actually see when we picked up the three points a release valve had been loosened,” he said. “Clyde again will be very difficult opposition but I’m really hopeful we can continue our fine home form in the league.”

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