Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

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Home Sport Football Scottish Rangers

John itching to get back to Rangers action after missing 'incredible' Celtic tie

Hamilton v Rangers, Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership: New Douglas Park, Tonight, 7.45pm

By Will Jackson

Declan John is raring to get back on the pitch after a thigh injury prevented him from making his Old Firm debut.

The on-loan Cardiff full-back suffered the injury against Partick Thistle in the Betfred Cup and was forced to sit out the 2-0 defeat to Celtic at Ibrox last Saturday.

It came at a bad time for the 22-year-old, who had made a positive start to life in Glasgow and emerged as a more than competent replacement for the injured Lee Wallace.

John said: "I was doing quite well, so to pick up the injury didn't really help and to miss that massive game against Celtic wasn't good for me, but we'll play against them again later in the season.

"I was really gutted to miss the game against Celtic. I've been back training and am hoping to be fit for Friday.

"The atmosphere, especially the first 20 minutes, was incredible really. I haven't really been involved in a game with an atmosphere like that, so I would have liked to have featured."

Rangers are eight points adrift of the league leaders despite the season being just seven games old, but John is confident in the quality of the side and thinks a change in fortune is not far away.

The first chance to do that comes tonight with a trip to face Hamilton.

"You can look at points, but the football we have played at times has been pretty good," he said. "It's the difference in the two boxes, trying to keep a clean sheet and trying to score more.

"It takes time, it doesn't come easy and isn't straightforward. It will take time but we have a good group of boys here. It is such a massive club and especially with the fans - you're expected to win every game and we expect to win every game as well."

Meanwhile, Owen Coyle revealed his relationship with Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor was key to his decision to take on the manager's job in Dingwall.

The former St Johnstone boss has returned to Scottish football almost 10 years after leaving Perth for Burnley.

Coyle spent three months on loan at County during his Dunfermline days in the 2000-01 season and remained in touch with MacGregor.

Coyle, who will be assisted by long-time No.2 Sandy Stewart, said: "The chairman rang me on Monday and asked me if the job would be of interest. It's a club I know well having had a spell on loan here many years ago.

"The club has come on leaps and bounds since that time. Having had a chat with chairman and owner Roy MacGregor, I felt it was the right job for me.

"I've said before when you have a good relationship and understanding with the chairman then that for me is the basis for bringing success, and that's what we will be looking to do."

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