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Rangers star in line for shock call at Inverness


disgruntled_bear
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Rangers are looking to fast-track £2 million front man Steven Naismith back into the first team as they attempt to rescue their faltering SPL title challenge.

Manager Walter Smith is set to give the player a surprise place in the squad heading north to face Inverness Caledonian Thistle this weekend after he came through a 90-minute game at Murray Park yesterday.

Smith believes Naismith, who has been sidelined for eight months following cruciate knee-ligament surgery, could be the answer to his left-midfield problem position.

Steven Naismith in action for Rangers

Possible: Naismithcould be answer to left-sided dilemma

He made his playing comeback when he scored against St Mirren before the Reserve League winter shutdown, but he has now been pushed on with further specially-arranged matches against Hamilton Accies and St Johnstone, thanks to the Ibrox club's undersoil-heated training pitch.

Now Smith looks set to name Naismith in the squad that travels north at the weekend for the live Setanta showdown with Caley Thistle on Sunday lunchtime.

Rangers have deployed a number of players on the left of midfield since the season began without great success - Nacho Novo, Kyle Lafferty, DaMarcus Beasley, Charlie Adam and Lee McCulloch all failing to make the position their own.

Spanish teenager Aaron Niguez was even given a run as a substitute against Hamilton in the position.

Naismith, 22, looked impressive in the role last season and was poised to face Fiorentina in the UEFA Cup semi-final when he was injured in the Scottish Cup semi-final against St Johnstone.

He faced the Perth club again yesterday and played the whole 90 minutes in a punishing central-midfield role as goals from Andrius Velicka, Lafferty and Aaron gave a strong Rangers side a 3-1 win, although McCulloch took a knock.

Boss Smith told the club website yesterday that his players must respond to the seven-point title deficit - and show the hallmark of champions displayed by Celtic.

'Obviously, in terms of the league, we have a lot to do in the second half of the season,' he said. 'We know the importance of trying to win all the remaining games. There is an added edge that we have reached the halfway stage of the season and we are seven points behind Celtic - which isn't what anyone wanted.

'We know we have to put together a really good run if we are to get ourselves back into the championship race. Credit to Celtic for showing their pride and determination in being champions to get them through a period when they've maybe not played their best football. We have not shown that edge. We have to develop that mentality.'

Algerian defender Madjid Bougherra was initially scheduled to play as well yesterday, but wasn't risked in the bitter cold because of his niggling thigh injury and remains doubtful for the trip north.

Rangers, meanwhile, won't let Novo leave Ibrox on the cheap. He is contracted until the summer of 2010 - and is not available on a Bosman deal next June as Deportivo La Coruna seem to believe.

Novo's two goals for a Galician regional select impressed the Deportivo president but he is still to speak to his coach about any potential bid.

Forgotten man Alan Gow was last night weighing up a £250,000 permanent move to Blackpool

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/...-Inverness.html

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Naismith and Aaron on either wing - Miller behind Boyd - Mendes and Davis central midfield?

____________Greegsy____________

McMillan___Tonel___New CB____Sasa

__________Davis___Mendes)_______

Naismith____________________Aaron

__________________Novo_________

_____________Boyd______________

:drool:

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Only if he's 1001% fit - I don't want another Ferguson scenario. But the sooner Naisy is fully fit, the better!

I can't wait to see him, this time he has to be given a fair chance.

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Guest therabbitt
Naismith Davis Mendes Aaron - Certainly worth a shout. (tu)

I hope he's not being rushed back.

I fear he might be being rushed back mate.

That midfield would be excellent at home. Mendes and Davis are both intelligent enough midfielders to know when one has to hold and one can go.

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Naismith and Aaron just as adept on either wing too. Interchange is a fantastic option - Miller playing behind Boyd could mean that all three (Miller, Naisy and Aaron) could interchange with Boyd popping in the chances.

Its a very idealised situation, but it certainly would produce some exciting football.

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Guest therabbitt

.......and another thing. We could, in tougher away games play Miller up top on his own and replace Boyd with Edu/Thomson/Ferguson to act as a deeper lying midfielder. Would be tight enough centrally, yet the extra man infront of the back four would still allow our central midfielders and wingers space to roam and be creative.

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.......and another thing. We could, in tougher away games play Miller up top on his own and replace Boyd with Edu/Thomson/Ferguson to act as a deeper lying midfielder. Would be tight enough centrally, yet the extra man infront of the back four would still allow our central midfielders and wingers space to roam and be creative.

I'd replace Boyd with Lafferty (tu)

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Again it would just be a temporary solution to a long term problem.

Naismith is a striker first and foremost and is the main challenge to Miller in the team. I hope he can do a job there, but we have to be looking for another solution.

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.......and another thing. We could, in tougher away games play Miller up top on his own and replace Boyd with Edu/Thomson/Ferguson to act as a deeper lying midfielder. Would be tight enough centrally, yet the extra man infront of the back four would still allow our central midfielders and wingers space to roam and be creative.

Is that not going back to last season when we all grumbled about being too negative?

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Guest therabbitt
.......and another thing. We could, in tougher away games play Miller up top on his own and replace Boyd with Edu/Thomson/Ferguson to act as a deeper lying midfielder. Would be tight enough centrally, yet the extra man infront of the back four would still allow our central midfielders and wingers space to roam and be creative.

Is that not going back to last season when we all grumbled about being too negative?

I'm not too sure really, two wingers and a central striker can be very very attacking. It is all about personnel and the instructions the players are given.

We played some really entertaining and progressive football with Naismith and Burke on either wing around this time last year.

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