Scotland international expecting hostile reaction on Rangers return with new club

Derby County midfielder Graeme Shinnie is relishing the chance to return to Ibrox with his new side on July 28th and admits that the Gers will give the beaten Championship playoff finalists a good test.

The Rams travel to Ibrox later this month to face Steven Gerrard’s side and former Aberdeen captain Shinnie anticipates a lively welcome from Rangers fans, admitting he’s “not very well liked” in Govan.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND - APRIL 03: Graeme Shinnie of Aberdeen strikes on goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Aberdeen and Motherwell at Pittodrie Stadium on April 3, 2019 in Aberdeen, Scotland.

 (Photo by Scott Baxter/Getty Images)

Shinnie’s brother Andrew came through the ranks at Rangers and the Scotland international knows the Gers are a “massive club” who will be aiming to win the title so is looking forward to facing them.

“I’m not very well liked up there, let’s put it that way!” Shinnie told RamsTV, as quoted by DerbyshireLive.

“I had great games there when I played at Aberdeen. Last season, especially, we won two games at Ibrox and for the fans at Aberdeen, they are massive games.

“To win those, it’s big for the club up there. Rangers are a massive club and they will give it a good go to try and win the league this year so it will be good to go up against them.”

Rangers face Blackburn Rovers and Marseille at Ibrox before Derby round off the Gers pre-season campaign and it will be a good marker of where Gerrard’s side are.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - DECEMBER 05: Graeme Shinnie of Aberdeen vies with Ovie Ejaria of Rangers during the Scottish Ladbrokes Premiership match between Rangers and Aberdeen at Ibrox Stadium on December 5, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

While there’s not a huge amount can be read into results in friendlies, there’s always useful bits of information that can be taken from them.

Facing sides like Derby and Marseille is also the sort of level where the Gers players won’t be able to go through the motions without risking a heavy defeat.

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Journalist

James has written about Scottish football for a number of years, with a particular focus on Rangers, has produced content for the likes of Shoot!, WATP Magazine, the Daily Record, the Scottish FA, Youth Football Scotland and SB Nation’s Got The Battle Fever On. A lifelong Rangers fan, James has been attending games since 1994.

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This Will Improve Jordan Jones At Rangers – TNS Star

 

The New Saints midfielder Jon Routledge believes that new Rangers signing Jordan Jones will benefit from having experienced players such as Jermain Defoe and Steven Davis around him, both of whom the 29-year-old feels, will help to enhance his game further.

The Welsh Premier League side were involved in a behind closed doors friendly with the Scottish giants on Tuesday as the Gers continue with their preparation for the Europa League qualifying rounds.  

The former Wigan Athletic and Hamilton Academial player was involved in the match and was impressed with what he saw from Rangers new boy Jones.

Routledge believes that though Jones is in the early stages of his career at Ibrox, he has the potential to improve and become an even better player.
 

The former Liverpool youth player also took time to stress the importance of Defoe and Davis, insisting that just being around such experienced professionals will help Jones improve his game further.

“It is very early days but Jones has the makings of being a really good player. He is capable of progressing his career at Rangers”, Routledge was quoted as saying by Belfast Live.

“Just being in and around experienced pros like Defoe and Steve Davis can help enhance his game further.
 

“Jones will thrive under the pressure and will gradually improve because he will be playing alongside better players at Rangers.”

Jones joined Rangers from Kilmarnock this summer, after the Gers agreed a pre-contractual deal for him earlier this year.   
 

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Steven Gerrard has made a significant announcement about transfers (not Morelos)

Steven Gerrard has tonight put a rough number on how many more signings Rangers fans can expect before the end of the transfer window.

Rangers have of course brought in the bulk of the summer window already, so additions now will be more considered, per se, but Gerrard has informed fans of how many new additions we can likely anticipate.

He said:

“There will be a few more additions, but it’s difficult to say whether it will be one, two or three.”

In short, Rangers will look at a striker and a defender, and possibly one more, and that is likely to be about it.

Greg Stewart’s fine display has reduced the pressure on the striking slots – Rangers, for now, have he, Defoe and Morelos as options, but defence definitely requires some new blood given there’s only three senior options, with only one of them being over 22.

So a ‘few’ new players is all that we can expect, and whether we all feel that’s enough is a matter for the individual.

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This Rangers Team Are Different – Midfielder’s Assessment After Closed Doors Clash

 

The New Saints midfielder Danny Redmond believes that the current Rangers team look very different from the sides his men have locked horns with in previous friendlies.

The 28-year-old was involved in a behind closed doors pre-season friendly with the Gers on Tuesday, with the match ending in a 1-0 win for the Scottish giants.  

The match gave Rangers manager Steven Gerrard a chance to look at his squad closely as he fielded two different sides in two different halves, including playing summer arrivals.

The former Hamilton Academial player, who has previous experience of playing against the Gers, believes that the current Rangers team look different.
 

“It is fair to say Rangers are a very different team now to the ones we have played before in pre-season friendlies”, Redmond was quoted as saying by Belfast Live.

“They chose to mix it up a bit and played two different teams – one in each half – and a lot of the new boys featured.”

Redmond also took time to praise new Rangers signing Jordan Jones, insisting that the 24-year-old is a very tricky opponent.
 

“Jones impressed me the most. He is a very tricky opponent.

“He looked really comfortable and was very good whenever he got on the ball.

“Jones performed really well with Northern Ireland and Kilmarnock last season and he earned his move to Rangers.

“A lot of people at Rangers have high hopes for the player and I can see why.”

Rangers are scheduled to face St. Joseph’s in the first qualifying round of the Europa League, with the first leg of the tie scheduled to take place in Gibraltar on Tuesday, and the second leg a week later at Ibrox on 18th July.   
 

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“Not the best – 6” – “Living up to the hype – 9” – player ratings from Ibrox…

As Rangers’ first serious action of pre-season comes to a close, Ibrox Noise has a lot to cover before Tuesday’s trip to Gibraltar gets into full swing.

A comfortable 5-0 win over Karl Robinson’s Oxford was solid preparation if not circumstantially ideal for the Europa League opener, and we now bring you some match ratings following a decent workout in Govan:

Jak Alnwick:

Had nothing to do, at all. Just can’t rate him. N/A

Polster:

Our first time watching this lad, and it was promising. Extremely solid at the back with a fine awareness of position, and his brute-force defending was up to scratch. Didn’t bomb forward with the flair of Tavernier, but did so with the regularity. A fine show and he could provide really good competition there. 7

Katic:

Not the best composure from Katic, and a lot of non-communication with Edmundson – not a partnership which reassured, and while Katic’s raw individual work at the back was decent, his polish was a bit off key. He was ok, rasping 30-yarder or not. 6

Edmundson:

Has a hell of a delivery from deep, but then so did Niko Kranjcar in friendlies and look what happened to him. The duo with the Croat fell flat and a better side than Oxford would punish that level of defending. But it was indeed only Oxford. 6

Halliday:

Once again Halliday shows why he’s a problem for Stevie – excellent defending, excellent crossing, excellent with width support, excellent all round. For an attacking midfielder he’s continuing to put in some great shifts at LB. 8

Kamara:

Barely involved – a few neat passes and turns but a quiet display from the Finn in this one. 6

Docherty:

Very very lively first 30, really heavily involved and worked hard in the last third. Has evolved well the past season into a really effective attacking midfielder and while he did drift out after half an hour, what he had done was extremely promising. Great performance from one of our own. 8

Aribo:

Strong on the ball but not necessarily that effective yet, Aribo was an intriguing debut. Has composure and intelligence but wasn’t dominant on the ball – a useful cross or two and hard to shake off the round thing, but we didn’t see quite the enterprising aggressive attacking and creative play from him we’d expected. 6

Candeias:

His place is under threat and boy does he know it – a great shift from the Portuguese and was full of running, invention and drive – very involved and took his goal sumptuously. Fine performance. 8

Hastie:

Bright first 15-20 minutes but faded afterwards, Hastie looks like he could have some potential but will need to develop his tactical awareness and understanding of how Rangers play. Works hard to track back though, and that is appreciated. 6

Stewart:

Fine debut from the underhyped signing many had doubts over, his assist for the opener was marvellous and his goal was impressive too. Works hard, and clearly wants to earn this shirt – looks like he wants to be a Ranger and we love that. 8

Subs (selected)

McPake:

Wow, only 15 minutes but we can see why Liverpool want him. Absolutely stellar performance from a young man with the world at his feet. 9

Ojo:

Ryan who? Wow, only got 20 minutes but did more in them than Kent did until Hearts late November. This guy is living up to the hype and then some. 9

The rest suffered the ‘spate of subs’ syndrome as the game lost its pattern and edge.

Really pleasing overall even with its flaws and we’re confident for Tuesday.

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It Was Special To Be Back

MIDFIELDER Greg Docherty relished the chance to walk out of the tunnel at Ibrox this afternoon after returning from his season on loan at Shrewsbury Town.

The 22-year-old played 60 minutes in the 5-0 win over Oxford United and was pleased with the performance from the squad.

He said: “I think it took maybe 10 minutes for us to settle in and for the new boys to get used to the surroundings but from there on in I thought we dominated and obviously scoring five goals, it is always going to be a good day.

“It is still so early on but for us the competitive games are starting now so there is going to be a lot of competition for places and the boys know they are going to have to put in a performance and the manager touched on that before the game.

“I think the clean sheet is massive as well, we touched on that before the game too and I don’t think they threatened too much but we really dominated the game and put on a show for the fans who came out.

“It was a great turnout for a pre-season friendly and it really spurred us on so overall it was a good performance.”

Docherty was delighted to return to Ibrox after his season on loan playing in League One in England.

He added: “It was special to walk out the tunnel again. It has been on my mind for a long time and I have been working towards it but I am not getting too carried away.

“Obviously it is still so early on and it is a friendly but I will always cherish these moments when I walk out that tunnel in front of the fans.

“I want to keep improving and keep showing that I am a different player and that I am better for my year away.

“I think maturing off the pitch was the main thing I learned and just being relied on by my teammates to go and produce something. You are always representing Rangers wherever you go so you carry that badge with pride and honour that you are a Rangers player.”

The squad now look ahead to Tuesday night’s Europa League first round qualifier against St Joseph’s and Docherty feels the players are ready for the busy fixture schedule.

He said: “The games are going to come round thick and fast but it is going to be good. I am particularly looking forward to playing St Joseph’s here at Ibrox, I think it will be close to a sell out and it will be great for us but we have to get Tuesday out the way first.

“It will be difficult and a tough task but we are really looking forward to it.

“We have been preparing for it for a while with the sports scientists and the staff. Tonight the game is done but straight away you are recovering the best you can for Tuesday.

“We’ve got to recover, that’s just the way it is but we are looking forward to it.”

The midfielder hopes he has done enough to push for a place in Steven Gerrard’s starting eleven.

He added: “I think I came back in better shape fitness wise and I think I have performed in the games leading up to this one and I think I have performed at a high standard in training so it is just about being confident and believing in myself.

“The manager has said that as well just to go and do my thing and show why I picked up a few accolades last year.

“I feel better for it so I’ll go and push the boys that are ahead of me and try and get in the team.”

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Gerrard Pleased With Performance

STEVEN GERRARD believes there were a lot of positives to take from his side’s 5-0 victory over Oxford at Ibrox this afternoon.

After 2-0 and 1-0 wins over Mansfield Town in Portugal and TNS at the Hummel Training Centre, the manager – speaking to RangersTV post-match – thought the performance against the U’s was another step in the right direction as Rangers get ready to face St Joseph’s of Gibraltar on Tuesday in their first competitive game of 2019/20.

He said: “Very pleased. Obviously you have to take into consideration the stage of the season we are at.

“Pre-season is about fitness and it’s about getting volume into the players legs, but I think if you look at the quality throughout the 90 minutes, it was very pleasing to watch with five goals, a clean sheet and a lot of strong individual performances against an organised team. So yeah a lot of positives today.

“I think last season we were very fit and you have to give the sport science lads a lot of credit for that.

“If we want to be successful we have to be fit, we have to be athletic and you can see, even compared to last season, we are looking like we have got more pace in the team and more dynamic players. So hopefully that will help us go to the next level next season.

“Last season we had a good team and I think we showed a lot of progress and there were certain games where we played very well, but I think it was the consistency where we probably fell a bit short.

The idea this year is to try and get more strength and depth, more quality in the forward areas, so not only are we a more entertaining team but we will be more ruthless and we can win more games on a consistent basis.”

Daniel Candeias started the scoring against Oxford and Jermain Defoe completed it, but the second, third and fourth goals were from Greg Stewart, Lewis Mayo and Sheyi Ojo, all making their Ibrox debuts.

Gerrard added: “As far as Greg and Sheyi, they are the reason why we have added them to the squad, because we want to improve our numbers in the final third.

“I think we were the top scorers in the league last year but we want to score more and keep trying to improve on that.

“And what a fantastic day for Lewis Mayo. I said to all the Academy lads, ‘you’ll get an opportunity somewhere down the line’. He took his today and I’m sure he is capable, but you can still see that he is still a boy and there is a lot of development still to do. But the Academy have done a good job on him.

“But Jake [Hastie] was very good today, I thought [Joe] Aribo was very strong and you can see he is a very powerful runner. And really none of the new players are ready yet. This is the first time in front of a crowd and they are probably still two or three weeks away from being where we want them. So lots of positive and so far so good.”

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Gallery: Rangers 5-0 Oxford United

RANGERS returned to action at Ibrox this afternoon with a five-goal victory against Oxford United in an action-packed pre-season friendly.

Our club snapper was at Ibrox to capture the action, click above to view a full gallery.

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Video: Lewis Mayo Reaction

LEWIS MAYO spoke to RangersTV after scoring in today’s 5-0 victory against Oxford United at Ibrox Stadium.

You can watch the video above from the club’s official YouTube channel which you can subscribe to here.

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