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I dont want to wreck Walts finalseason


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THE idea of jeopardising Walter Smith's hopes of a final glory year as Rangers boss torments Kyle Lafferty.

In each of the last two seasons the controversial Ulsterman has netted the goals that have effectively put blue and white ribbons on the SPL trophy.

And it would mean the world to Lafferty to make it a farewell three-in-a-row for the man who made a boyhood dream come true by shelling out £3.25million to take him from Burnley in July 2008.

The beanpole striker - who knocked back interest from Gordon Strachan's Celtic - was ecstatic then as he signed a lucrative five-year deal.

Now, though, the joy has given way to deep-rooted anxiety - as he worries that perceptions of him being a liability for Gers lead to mentor Smith shunning him.

Lafferty - who earned his first Gers red card at the weekend - remains adamant that he IS good enough for his idols.

And that he CAN consistently deliver for the Ibrox godfather who will walk away from the hotseat next May.The last thing Lafferty, banned for Saturday's home clash with St Johnstone, wants to happen in the months ahead is to be singled out as a cause for any Rangers strife.

Yet opposition players - and the Hibs players surrounded him on Sunday like a wolf pack - now sense he's a dismissal waiting to happen.

Opening his heart Lafferty told SunSport: "We all want to make sure Walter goes out as manager on a high.

"We're desperate to give him a third successive title - and I want to show that he signed a good player. I never want to do anything that costs the manager a trophy or makes things difficult for my team-mates.

"I'd find it hard to live with myself if something happened that cost us the league or a cup.

"What happened on Sunday left them in a tough situation, but once again they showed how good they are by winning so well with 10 men.

"Kenny Miller scored a brilliant hat-trick and I was delighted for him. He's a quality striker. I have to have a look at myself and try and concentrate on playing football. I know there will be players who will go out to try and get me sent off. Try to make me a laughing stock.

"But I'm going to have to take everything that comes because I don't want to let down the manager and my team-mates again.

"I definitely don't want to jeopardise the manager's final season. He brought me here and I will always be grateful for that - and we all want to send him off on a high."

Lafferty appreciates he's never had greater rivalry for a first-team place.

But he's full of respect for the trio of frontmen brought in over a dramatic fortnight.

He said: "Vladimir Weiss is a great signing for Rangers. He is an excellent player and a top lad. I also think in the future he'll be a massive player for Man City.

"He came off the bench against Hibs and ran the show. I also saw him do the same against Northern Ireland. I'm sure I'll enjoy playing alongside him - and it's the same for James Beattie and Nikica Jelavic.



"I'm just going to have to work harder with this kind of competition. It seems that if I'm going to play then it's going to be wide left - and that means that Vladimir will probably be my biggest threat to get in the team.

"I would rather play as a striker and I believe I can get goals for Rangers. I was getting frustrated against Hibs playing wide.

"But my job is to do well for the team wherever the manager wants to play me. It's another great challenge for me, but I think I respond to them. Once I get back from my ban I'm going to have to make sure that whenever I get a chance coming off the bench I show I'm too good to be left out of the team.

"I know I'm good enough for Rangers. I believe I showed that in the run-in last season when I scored five goals in seven games.

"However, I know in the last two seasons I've done a few things wrong. I've let down the manager and my team-mates.

"But then I've come back and I like to think I've repaid them with the goals that have won the two championships.

"This time it's an even bigger test for me - and I've got even more to prove.

"It's going to be an exciting few months. If I'm left out I'll still be rooting for the lads. At the end of the day I want Rangers to win every trophy.

"Winning three in a row is the priority.

"There's never a good time to get a red card. But with the new signings I couldn't have picked a WORSE time.

"It's a major setback for me, but I'm strong enough to bounce back from this.

"I want to play a major part this season and beyond.

"The red card on Sunday, though, has put more points on my disciplinary record and that could see another suspension if I pick up a couple more yellows. I have to make sure I'm available for the manager or things will become even harder for me at Rangers. He's spoken to me about cutting out stupid incidents and I accept that.

"I've got to get things right, play as many games and score as many goals as I can.

"I HAVE to settle down to do well for Rangers. I want people to be talking about me for the right reasons.

"I can't afford to react to things, bad tackles or whatever. Otherwise it will affect my future at the club."


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I feel a bit sorry for him, sometimes.

I think he's guilty of trying to hard more than anything beacuse I can see talent there in him.

But we can't keep persevering with him forever hoping he might come good. This really is his make or break season.

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Just needs a chance upfront but can't see it happening, the one game I thot he was class was against hearts at ibrox last year for bout 30 mins then the cants took him out and we never saw him for a while after that, apart from that I thot only Naismith was better than laffs v killie at ibrox the other week !

Love to see him prove doubters wrong but can't see him geting his chance

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He needs to pull his heid out his arse and start playing a good game and not just talking one.

I hope he comes good. I like nothing more than to see a quality player pull on the jersey each week but at the moment Kyle Lafferty is not a quality player.

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