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Steven Whittaker talks about the upcoming season


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By Graeme Bryce, 18/07/2009

STEVEN WHITTAKER has sent out an early title warning to his old gaffer Tony Mowbray at Old Firm rivals Celtic.

Cash-strapped Rangers may not be spending this summer, but they are no spent force.

Last year Whittaker admits Rangers kicked off their campaign physically and mentally shattered.

Walter Smith's side crashed out of the Champions League, humiliated by FBK Kaunas before summer signings such as Pedro Mendes, Kyle Lafferty, Kenny Miller, Madjid Bougherra, Andrius Velicka and Maurice Edu had either arrived, or bedded in.

Yet the Light Blues recovered to lift a League and Cup double.

This summer Celtic have added Marc-Antoine Fortune, Lukasz Zaluska and Landry N'Guemo as well as new manager Mowbray. But even though there are no fresh faces around Murray Park, Whittaker insists there are plenty of fresh legs as revitalised Gers have returned from a longer summer break relaxed and ready to hit the ground running.

Whittaker said: "It's been a little strange, because in the two seasons since I've come in there have always been some new faces in pre-season.

"But I think that can actually help us. No one is coming in to the squad and having to feel their way into the team.

"We have all played together, we all know each other, and hopefully that will stand us in good stead.

"It feels a lot more relaxed than last year. We have had a lot more time off and we have a lot more time to prepare for the new campaign.

We will be looking to build as many points as we can

"There is no rushing back to get ready for our first Champions League game qualifiers which are massive games for the Old Firm. It is good not to have that burden on us this season and it gives us that little bit of time to get ready for the new season. That is one of the plusses of winning the title.

"While Celtic have the Champions League qualifiers to deal with, it will just be league games for us at the start.

"So we will be looking to build as many points as we can in the early part of the season and continue on from there.

"The fact there are no new signings isn't a concern. We have a big squad and people like Kevin Thomson are coming back from injury.

"He will obviously feature this season so he will be like a new signing. It is a huge boost to have players like that coming back into the team."

http://www.newsoftheworld.co.uk/scottish/s...ers-Celtic.html

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Jul 19 2009 By Gordon Waddell

STEVEN WHITTAKER reckons he's finally ready to give Rangers the season their £2million fee deserves - because the boss is playing him in the right place.

Walter Smith hailed Whittaker as the second half of last season's superstar on their run to the SPL title.

He felt it was because the former Hibs hero had finally adjusted to life in the Old Firm bubble.

Whittaker, though, pointed to the fact he was getting the kind of run at right-back that let him prove the position was his own.

He said: "I don't think there was any one game you could say was the turning point for me but confidence and belief in your own ability is a big thing.

"Right-back is my preferred choice.

"That is why Rangers were drawn to me in the first place.

"I played three consistent seasons at Hibs at right-back and never got switched about.

"But obviously when I came Alan Hutton was here. I played in front of him for spells, then left-back, right-back, left midfield, and that had an affect on my overall consistency.

"So at the end of last season when I played for five months at right-back that was when I found my best form.

"If I am asked to play on the left or further up the field I will try to adapt to it but I am most comfortable in the right-back position.

"This season is huge for me. It would be good to play there from day one."

http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/sport-news/sco...78057-21531890/

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It's funny watching teams like Chelsea go out and spend a fortune bring in a good few players and still don't get near Man Utd. That is all Celtic are doing trying to bring in a few players who will bring them closer to the champions, i don't fear them anyway. We have a fine young squad imo and a fine manager

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It's funny watching teams like Chelsea go out and spend a fortune bring in a good few players and still don't get near Man Utd. That is all Celtic are doing trying to bring in a few players who will bring them closer to the champions, i don't fear them anyway. We have a fine young squad imo and a fine manager

Good point, weve done it the past two seasons, and it was a point someone picked up on before, that we were chopping and changing our team too much and had no consistency, especially in a vital area of the park such as the defence. However now we are the champions, if we can get our squad down to a reasonable level, id imagine we can get to the point where we can start adding 1 or 2 quality players every transfer window instead of taking 4 or 5 gambles.

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On the second article, I daresay that along with a few other members of the board, I've been proven correct over Whittaker.

All we ever asked for was for him to get a run of games and he'd cement himself as Glasgow Rangers' rightback. Even when Broadfoot was playing awfully, Whittaker didn't get a sniff.

Slightly bizarre management, but I'm glad they've seen the error of their ways (tu)

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On the second article, I daresay that along with a few other members of the board, I've been proven correct over Whittaker.

All we ever asked for was for him to get a run of games and he'd cement himself as Glasgow Rangers' rightback. Even when Broadfoot was playing awfully, Whittaker didn't get a sniff.

Slightly bizarre management, but I'm glad they've seen the error of their ways (tu)

*cough* :pipe:

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Still far too inconsistant, and his defending is a major worry IMO.

The best RB at the club which isn't saying much; has to work on his concentration level, positioning, tackling, distribution....

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On the second article, I daresay that along with a few other members of the board, I've been proven correct over Whittaker.

All we ever asked for was for him to get a run of games and he'd cement himself as Glasgow Rangers' rightback. Even when Broadfoot was playing awfully, Whittaker didn't get a sniff.

Slightly bizarre management, but I'm glad they've seen the error of their ways (tu)

More like shite management. The worst thing is, its not as if they've even seen an error in their ways - Broadfoot was injured so they were forced to bring Stevie in - theres a good chance SW would never have gotten that run in the team if KB had remained fit for the entire season when he was playing RB.

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On the second article, I daresay that along with a few other members of the board, I've been proven correct over Whittaker.

All we ever asked for was for him to get a run of games and he'd cement himself as Glasgow Rangers' rightback. Even when Broadfoot was playing awfully, Whittaker didn't get a sniff.

Slightly bizarre management, but I'm glad they've seen the error of their ways (tu)

More like shite management. The worst thing is, its not as if they've even seen an error in their ways - Broadfoot was injured so they were forced to bring Stevie in - theres a good chance SW would never have gotten that run in the team if KB had remained fit for the entire season when he was playing RB.

You could look at it that way. You could also argue that they could have played Dailly as RB instead rather than Whittaker. Yet they didn't except when Papac was injured, when Whittaker slotted in at LB.

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Still far too inconsistant, and his defending is a major worry IMO.

The best RB at the club which isn't saying much; has to work on his concentration level, positioning, tackling, distribution....

Totally disagree with this post.

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We do need a top quality RB, but at this moment in time, there are more important areas needing addressed; centre back, a left winger, and striker.

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Still far too inconsistant, and his defending is a major worry IMO.

The best RB at the club which isn't saying much; has to work on his concentration level, positioning, tackling, distribution....

Totally agree with that...

Spot on (tu)

Wo do need a new RB but other areas need sorting first though...

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SW is a cracking player.Started to ooze class in the last few months when he got confident in possesion.He started to have that bit of arrogance that good players have-chest out-head up & not even looking at the ball when its at his feet.

We will lose him in the next few years to the EPL or continental Europe.He will be KT mkII next season & will be a threat to all teams with his skillful raiding down the flank.

Compared to Hutton he obviously isnt as fast but is a better dribbler.

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First and foremost, I like my defenders to be able to do every aspect of defending, before attacking. A team like Rangers should have players capable of doing both. IMO, Whittaker still has a lot to work on, especially on his defensive side of the game.

Big season for him coming up. He's streets ahead of Broadfoot thankfully. An injury to Whittaker, and we are in trouble as Lowing will never be good enough, and McMillan never got going at Hamilton due to injuries.

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