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Harry Forrester expects new boys to help Rangers hit heights

By Gavin McCafferty

Rangers ace Harry Forrester believes he can step up another level this season after winning his fitness battle. But the winger is sure that the whole of last season's Ladbrokes Championship-winning side can find an extra gear after the arrival of serious competition for places.

Forrester scored five goals in 15 matches for the Gers last season after moving from Doncaster at the turn of the year.

A fractured leg sustained in the Challenge Cup final cut short his season days before Rangers beat Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final, but Forrester was fit in time for pre-season and started in Rangers' 2-0 Betfred Cup win over Motherwell on Saturday.

"It's been a long time since I kicked a ball," he said ahead of tonight's next Betfred Cup group stage tie with Annan Athletic.

"I managed to get half an hour out in Charleston but playing 60 minutes at the weekend was good for me. I feel like I am back up to speed.

"Having a pre-season was big for me. Last year when I came in I hadn't played for three or four months. I had a bit of catching up to do. It felt like I was just catching up and then I got injured. But it's a fresh start for everybody, it's important we get through pre-season and the games give the opportunity for people to get minutes."

Manager Mark Warburton is targeting a whole team of summer signings with Joe Dodoo set to become the ninth.

Forrester said: "With the competition that's been brought in, I think that will lift everybody, not just myself. The bar has been raised here.

"Competition is healthy. That will push me on as a player, that will push everyone on as a player. If you're not pulling your weight, there is someone else to fill your shoes.

"It's been a great experience so far, to win two medals last year. This year is totally different, we need to kick on again. The staff have done a great job in bringing in some great players and I think we will go to another level."

After a shaky start at Fir Park, Rangers took control of the game around the halfway point to boost their confidence ahead of their Premiership campaign.

"We have always had the belief," Forrester said. "To go out and get the win so early on in the season breeds confidence.

"I think we are all winners and we all want to be part of a winning team. The players that the manager has signed are also winners, which is key to the squad."

And Forrester feels everyone at Ibrox has the mindset to challenge for the title.

"You have got to believe, everything we set out to do is to be winners," the 25-year-old said.

"Even in the day-to-day stuff in training, it is pumped through us that second isn't good enough. It's up to us to step up and for the new boys to come in and lift the level."

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