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Rangers still focused on silver lining

Rangers midfielder Maurice Edu is convinced the Ibrox squad remains strong enough as their quest for trophies steps up on tomorrow in the Co-operative Insurance Cup semi-finals.

Rangers face Motherwell at Hampden tomorrow on the eve of transfer deadline day having so far failed to bring any player in despite losing top goalscorer Kenny Miller.

But Nikica Jelavic showed he could help atone for the loss of Miller to Bursaspor by netting in the 2-0 victory over Hibernian on Wednesday as he made his first start since returning from a four-month injury lay-off.

Jelavic remains the only player Walter Smith has bought since Edu signed in August 2008 but the American believes they can continue to use the tightness of their squad as a positive as they challenge for four trophies. “We know what we're capable of, we believe in each other and we think we have enough in the squad to go on and get victories,” Edu said. “Ideally you want to have a big squad, some depth and a lot of options because we have a lot of games in February alone.

“But we have to work with what we have and I believe we have enough depth.

“It's a similar situation as the last couple of seasons where we haven't had the finance to bring in players so it has brought the players closer together.

“We have a good core of guys who have been here over the last couple of years.

“The experience we have of winning the championship is important, we will use that as motivation and hopefully go on a good run.”

Smith's squad may be smaller than in recent years but he has still been able to start Edu on the bench in four of the five matches he has been involved in since returning from a two-month knee injury lay-off.

The emergence of 19-year-old Jamie Ness has kept Edu on the sidelines and the United States international believes that will help them cope amid Lee McCulloch's forthcoming three-match suspension in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

“It will be a big loss, he has been one of our most consistent players over the last couple of seasons, not only on the field but off the field,” the 24-year-old said.

“He is one of the big voices in the dressing room. He brings a lot of grit and wears his heart on his sleeve, he puts in 100% effort every game.

“But it's an opportunity for someone to come in and fill the void and I think we have enough to still do well.

“Young Jamie has been playing well, that gives us another option and creates competition, which is what you need.”

Belfast Telegraph


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