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Revitalised Rangers' striker Martyn Waghorn gunning for Europe

By Eoin Wilson

Rangers striker Martyn Waghorn admits his career was stalling before his move to Ibrox - but now wants to motor on to Europe.

The 26-year-old has been rewarded for his debut 28-goal campaign in Glasgow with a nomination for the PFA Scotland Championship player of the year award.

It is a much happier situation for the former Sunderland graduate than the tales of woe he endured during failed moves to Leicester and Wigan.

The former £3million Foxes signing spent four years at the King Power Stadium but managed just 20 goals, while his stint at the DW Stadium also ended in disappointment as he was frozen out by former boss Malky Mackay.

But he insists he is back on the right path after being lured to Scotland by boss Mark Warburton and now wants to secure a Europa League slot by helping Rangers win the William Hill Scottish Cup.

Asked if his career was floundering before his Ibrox switch, he said: "Yeah, I think it would be fair to say that. I signed for Wigan from Leicester in January 2014 and had a good end of the season.

"But then the new manager came in, things changed and I got injured. It was difficult.

"But all those problems are in the past. I'm pleased with how it has gone up here. It was a real challenge to go from being injured last year to hitting 28 goals this season.

"I still think I'm at a good age and that I can get better.

"I would say this move has transformed my career. Playing in front of 50,000 fans every week gives you a real buzz and I think I've relished that. I've craved it. I look forward to every Saturday, putting on the kit and getting out on the park.

"For some people, that is too much for them, but I have loved every minute of it.

"I can't thank the manager and (assistant) Davie Weir enough. Everyone wants to play for the big teams in the world and Rangers is definitely one of them.

"We want to be winning cups and challenging for Europe.

"The gaffer has brought the style of play and the hunger to the boys to make sure everyone is pulling in the right direction. I think this club can really go places now."

Waghorn and Gers skipper Lee Wallace will go head-to-head with Hibs duo Jason Cummings and John McGinn for the player of the year prize, while the nominees are also set to square off in the May 21 cup final.

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