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"The manager and the coaching staff know that I am a striker,"explained Lafferty


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KYLE LAFFERTY insists Rangers' double success last season is a distant memory as they focus on adding more silverware this season.

The Northern Ireland internationalist is preparing to help Walter Smith's side defend the SPL title this season as well as trying to win the two domestic cup competitions - not to mention mounting a challenge on the big stage in the Champions League.

The spoils of last season ensured that Lafferty and his team-mates reported back for pre-season training in high spirits, but the beanpole striker says their focus is only on what lies ahead.

Rather than looking back on their league and Scottish Cup wins, Lafferty is concentrating on what he hopes will be another season of triumph for the Ibrox club.

"The key for us now is to keep moving forward," he said. "Winning the double is in the history books and we have to be focused on making sure we build on what has been achieved.

"We have a young group of players at Rangers, apart form the odd exception such as Davie Weir who has been unbelievable for the club.

"So all things going well I think we can go on to enjoy even more success and once you get a taste for it you want more and more."

Lafferty is a man with a point to prove this season. After a difficult start to life at Rangers following his £3.5m move from Burnley last summer, he came on to a game towards the end of the campaign.

Walter Smith deployed him wide on the left on many occasions rather than his preferred role as an out-and-out striker. Although happy to play anywhere selected, Lafferty concedes he would love a role in what he considers to be his natural position.

With competition in the shape of leading scorer Kris Boyd, Kenny Miller, Nacho Novo, Steven Naismith and Andrius Velicka, the youngster admits he would have to be operating at the top of his game to have any chance of leading the line.

"The manager and the coaching staff know that I am a striker," explained Lafferty. "But it's down to me whether I want to work my socks off and get stronger on every aspect of my game.

"It's alright saying I want to play in attack but I have to go out there on the pitch and prove that I can do the job.

"I know I can do it but I have a lot of hard work ahead, especially when you look at the players we have for this position.

"Boydy, Kenny, Nacho and Naisy all have so much quality and Andrius has come back this summer and is in great shape. He really has shown why Rangers bought him and has looked brilliant.

"Last season a lot of people doubted him but he came in at the end and hit the net in four consecutive games when we needed to get results.

"In pre-season you can see he is buzzing and that he wants to play a big part when the matches get underway.

"So there is a lot of competition and although I am the youngest I am ready to fight for a place in the team."

Lafferty and his team-mates fly out to Germany tomorrow to step up their pre-season preparations before jetting down to London to take part in the Emirates tournament.

For the striker, the games can't come quickly enough. Three matches have been arranged during their trip to Germany and the striker is desperate to pull a strip on again and get out there and prove to Walter Smith he should be leading the line at the start of the season.

He said: "After the start I had last season at Rangers I am enjoying being out on the training ground right now and taking part in the pre-season.

"The double sessions are hard work, but we have a big year ahead and all the players know how important it is to be ready for that.

"Personally I feel fit and strong and can't wait for the games to start again.

"When we all arrived back at Murray Park earlier this month, the atmosphere around the place was great and it was nice to see the lads and get a bit of banter with them.

"It's clear everyone is looking forward to the new season getting underway and I am no different, especially as last season was a bit stop-start for me. I managed to get a few goals but I also had injury problems to deal with.

"At a club like Rangers, you have to wait for another chance in the team because there are so many top players. I had to be patient at times but hopefully I showed the fans what I can do when I came into the team."

Speaking in the Rangers News, Lafferty added: "But this season my aim is to hit the ground running and hit top form straight away.

"If I get a chance to play up front in the pre-season games I need to take it and hopefully I can do that.

"We are going to Germany for a week, then we have a couple of matches down in London, so things are beginning to step up.

"We've worked hard at Murray Park up until now on our fitness levels but it will be nice to get some games under our belts as we continue our preparations for the new season."

Publication date 22/07/09

http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/sport/displa..._to_be_made.php

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Laff and Miller up front next season i think, probably wally's preferred frontline

Aye let's drop the guy who scored 30 odd goals last season for a diver who blows hot and cold.

Let's hope Smith doesn't have your logic!

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Laff and Miller up front next season i think, probably wally's preferred frontline

Aye let's drop the guy who scored 30 odd goals last season for a diver who blows hot and cold.

Let's hope Smith doesn't have your logic!

lol me neither m8, i forgot to add in the CL, and if we play 2 up

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Miller will play up on his own in the standard Euro Wattenaccio formation.Laff will maybe get a chance in the League/cups but he does not make enough use of himself either physically or in the air to partner Boyd.Needs to step up, tho he did last tail end of season.

He is a target man striker-with a decent touch & attitude_he will never be an Owen.

There arent too many decent tall target men so heres hoping.

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"Andrius has come back this summer and is in great shape. He has really shown why Rangers bought him and he has looked brilliant."

Sounds very interesting. You wouldn't just make that up on the spot.

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The £3.5m should have gone on buying a fucking LM/W, not a ST who's shunted out there.

Play him upfront; whether it's in a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1/4-5-1....but don't play him as a left sided midfielder. He can't beat a man, he's one footed, he can't cross a ball, he cut's inside far too often, his positioning is poor....

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The £3.5m should have gone on buying a fucking LM/W, not a ST who's shunted out there.

Play him upfront; whether it's in a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1/4-5-1....but don't play him as a left sided midfielder. He can't beat a man, he's one footed, he can't cross a ball, he cut's inside far too often, his positioning is poor....

Don't forget his taking one touch (or two, or three..) too many at any given opportunity (tu)

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The £3.5m should have gone on buying a fucking LM/W, not a ST who's shunted out there.

Play him upfront; whether it's in a 4-3-3/4-2-3-1/4-5-1....but don't play him as a left sided midfielder. He can't beat a man, he's one footed, he can't cross a ball, he cut's inside far too often, his positioning is poor....

Don't forget his taking one touch (or two, or three..) too many at any given opportunity (tu)

The thing is, I quite like the look of him upfront. He looks a different player. Still reckon the £3.5m could, and should have been spent on a better player.

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