Rangers on the up before Falkirk clash

Rangers manager Kenny McDowall
Rangers manager Kenny McDowall

As far as recent years at the club are concerned this past week has been one of the better ones for Rangers as they prepare for their third visit of the season to Westfield to face Peter Houston’s Falkirk.

Victory at Kirkcaldy seven days ago was the result of a much-improved team performance with the feel-good factor enhanced by the singing of contract extensions by two of the Light Blues’ most promising young players, namely goalkeeper Liam Kelly and midfielder Andy Murdoch.

Caretaker manager Kenny McDowall was both pleased and relieved that the two players had extended their stay at the club, particularly following the departures in the past eight months of both Charlie Telfer and Lewis MacLeod.

“We have been working hard on these deals over the last few months and we are delighted that Andy Murdoch has signed a new deal along with young goalkeeper Liam Kelly.”

Falkirk on their own turf are never an easy proposition – currently lying fifth in the Championship with 39 points from 25 games and still in the Scottish Cup, the ‘Bairns’ are unbeaten in League fixtures in 2015.

Rangers’ two earlier visits to Westfield resulted in 2-0 and 3-1 wins in League and League Cup respectively. And many ‘Gers fans are warming to McDowall’s spell in the hot-seat as they see changes being made that Ally McCoist would surely never have implemented.

Nevertheless McDowall has given many observers the impression since taking over from McCoist that he is currently in a position he never sought nor desired.

“I came here with Walter Smith in 2007 and I was very fortunate to be asked to be McCoist’s assistant in 2011. Ally is my friend, first and foremost and is always wishing us all the best in every match we have played since he was put on gardening leave. I would much rather he was sitting here and not me, to be honest.

“However circumstances have dictated otherwise so I just have to get on with it and do the best I can for the club.”

We need to get promotion this year and get Rangers back to the top division.”

Bilel Mohsni and Kenny Miller return from injury with both likely to feature. Marius Zaliukas – who has featured in the starting line-up for the last two outings – is absent due to illness, suffering from influenza as indeed is Ian Black. Lee McCulloch should also return after suffering a neck injury at Stark’s Park.