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Rangers V Aberdeen at Ibrox Stadium : Match Preview




Rangers defender Lee Hodson keen to be reunited with Kyle Lafferty

Lee Hodson admits he would love to be reunited with Northern Ireland team-mate Kyle Lafferty at Rangers.

The former Ibrox frontman is on the lookout for a new club after being released by Norwich.

He spent four years in Glasgow after sealing a B#3million switch from Burnley but quit in the wake of the club’s 2012 financial meltdown.

Lafferty has already admitted he would jump at the chance to re-sign for Gers after confessing he made a mistake in leaving.

He would have to win over a sizeable section of the Ibrox faithful angered by his decision to walk away when the Light Blues were at their lowest ebb.

However, Hodson has no doubt he would repay their faith in goals.

The full-back said: “Kyle is a great lad. He’s been performing very well for Northern Ireland, both leading up to the Euros and at the championships.

“He’s a goalscorer. He’s been here before and the fans know him very well. It would be nice to see him here but that’s down to the manager.

“I think Kyle’s out of contract now so it’s down to him as well.

“He had a great time here. I can definitely understand why Kyle says he regrets leaving. Once you’re at a big club you want to stay at a big club.

“Kyle has proven himself wherever he goes. Leading up to the Euros he was top goalscorer for Northern Ireland.

“He hasn’t been playing much football but has still been scoring during this qualifying campaign, so I’m sure there will be a lot of interest in him.”

Gers have given up on catching Wednesday night’s opponents Aberdeen in second given the Dons’ six-point lead and vastly superior goal difference.

But Hodson insists his side are determined to send a message to those who still believe Aberdeen have a stronger squad than the one assembled in Govan.

He explained: “Every game is important from the first game of the season to the last game of the season. We definitely want to go out there and prove a point.

“We know as a team we are more than good enough to compete. We have two games left and we will go out there and try to do our best and finish the season with six points from the last two games.”

Rangers should “probably be embarrassed” at not finishing second in the Ladbrokes Premiership this season, according to Dons boss Derek McInnes.

Gers boss Pedro Caixinha, who took over from Mark Warburton in March, claimed that his side are set to go “up and up and up”, while warning McInnes that Aberdeen face a slide unless he “renews” their squad.

For good measure the Portuguese coach revealed his admiration for Ryan Jack, “a player that I like”, with the Dons’ skipper coming to the end of his contract at the end of the season.

Former Rangers midfielder McInnes told Caixinha that he has more to worry about than Aberdeen, specifically traditional rivals Celtic, who have clinched their sixth successive Premiership title and who are aiming for the domestic treble this season.

He said: “I think it is strange that he feels the need to talk about Aberdeen so much.

“If he thinks that doing brilliant at Rangers, by being on the up by finishing ahead of Aberdeen, then he is clearly mistaken.

“The job of Rangers manager is to finish above Celtic and he should be more concerned about that challenge.

“Any team that finishes above Rangers in the league, with the budget they have, is doing their work well.

“They should probably be embarrassed that they have not finished second and I am confident that any Premiership manager, with the budget that Rangers have, would finish second in the league.

“He likes to do a lot of talking.

“I think the Rangers fans over the last few years have been used to whether it is owners, managers, players saying what they want to hear but the reality is, his job as Rangers manager is to finish above Celtic and if he thinks he is doing well by finishing above Aberdeen and the rest then he will soon find out that is not enough.”

Jonny Hayes is suspended for the clash, while Jack is again missing with a groin tear and Peter Pawlett has an Achilles problem.

Ryan Christie is back in the squad after missing out against his parent club Celtic last Friday.

Source: PAR


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