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Walter on John Fleck and some team news for Sunday


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High Hopes For Fleck

WALTER SMITH is set to introduce John Fleck to top team action for the first time on Sunday and is very hopeful that he will go on to become a key player for Rangers in the future.

Fleck, just 16, is likely to get some of the action against East Stirling in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup, although Smith has yet to make up his mind fully.

Smith said: "John is in the pool and we will see if he makes an appearance. He is a striker and he has been playing extremely well in the reserves and under-19s.

"He looks as though he will progress. It's a little bit early to play regularly but the way he has performed he deserves his chance."

Dean Furman and Georgos Efrem are also included in the squad while Alan Gow is poised to make an appearance in the team for the first time since the East Fife CIS Cup tie on the left side.

Lee McCulloch will miss out with a calf strain while Jean-Claude Darcheville is also unlikely to feature but will be fit for Wednesday's SPL match with Gretna.

http://www.rangers.premiumtv.co.uk/page/Ne...1212626,00.html

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I'll be honest, I will love to see him play, but I'm glad that Walter is going slow with him and not throwing him into the first team and play him all the time. This philosophy to me is to do with the probablility he hasn't fully developed yet and we don't want too much strain being put on his skeletal structure which could end up causing long term injury.

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By David Mccarthy

JOHN FLECK could become the first 16-year-old in almost a quarter of a century to take part in a competitive match for Rangers this weekend.

The talented teenager has been named in Walter Smith's squad for Sunday's visit of East Stirling in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.

He is tipped to play at least some part in the game and if that happens, the midfielder - a regular in Rangers reserves - will follow in the footsteps of Derek Ferguson who featured in a league match at 16 back in 1984.

Fleck, nephew of former Rangers striker Robert Fleck, has been fast-tracked through the youth ranks and is regarded as a potential superstar of the future.

Smith has put him on the bench for a couple of league games this term but the visit of the Third Division outfit could give Fleck the chance to show the Rangers fans his ability for the first time.

Also listed is reserve team captain Dean Furman and striker Giorgos Efrem as the manager gives several fringe players, including Alan Gow and Thomas Buffel, the chance to shine.

Assistant boss Ally McCoist feels the Ibrox squad will be stretched to the limit with five games in just 15 days, starting on Sunday, but insists the squad will love the challenge.

McCoist said: "This month is massive, an incredibly tough schedule.

"But I know myself that as a player these are absolutely magic times, fantastic.

"You don't think of it as a lot of games to play, you just get on with it.It's a real buzz.

"Now I'm on the other side I have to admit I'm worried about the number of games and the tired legs but, as a player, that's what you want. It's also very important for the lads who haven't been getting many games.

"All the boys have been absolutely excellent and the attitude in training has been magnificent. That's really important.

"I know how some of them feel and it's to their credit that they keep working hard and keep themselves ready to take their chance."

The Ibrox No.2 paid tribute to the manner in which the players bounced back from their Champions League exit. He said: "We had to get over the disappointment of being knocked out of the Champions League by Lyon but the boys responded brilliantly.

"Four victories is a terrific return and I even thought we deserved to win the drawn game up at Aberdeen.

"As we keep on saying, the football has been good, the performances have been good and the results have been good.

"But as yet we haven't won anything, so we have to keep on top of things.

"Now we've got to beat East Stirling in the Cup.

"They'll want to come here and enjoy their day out and we have to treat them with the utmost respect.

"As I keep saying, we haven't won anything.

"We want to bring every bit of silverware we can back to this club.

"Sunday's tie could be an opportunity to get some fresh legs in the team but in doing that no way are we treating East Stirling with disrespect.

"The boys who came in against East Fife in the CIS Cup did well and it might be a chance for them to do so again."

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I'll be honest, I will love to see him play, but I'm glad that Walter is going slow with him and not throwing him into the first team and play him all the time. This philosophy to me is to do with the probablility he hasn't fully developed yet and we don't want too much strain being put on his skeletal structure which could end up causing long term injury.

have you seen the boy? I'd not worry about his skeletal structure he's built like rooney was at that age

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