Daly show at Rangers isn't off air for good

RANGERS fans were today warned not to write off striker Jon Daly - despite the return of Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller to Ibrox this summer.

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Jon Daly netted 25 goals for Rangers last season
Jon Daly netted 25 goals for Rangers last season

Daly finished last season as leading goalscorer for the Glasgow club after hitting the target 25 times in all competitions.

But the Irishman is not expected to be a first choice regular for manager Ally McCoist in the 2014/15 campaign due to the new arrivals.

Boyd and Miller are, when fit, set to lead the line for the Gers in the SPFL Championship, Challenge Cup, League Cup and Scottish Cup in the months ahead.

Irish hitman Daly has missed pre-season due to a knee injury that required surgery and may not be ready to return to action until the end of next month.

However, the 31-year-old has still been tipped to feature regularly for the League One champions as they bid to complete the "The Journey" and get back into the top flight.

Former Rangers forward John MacDonald still attends every Rangers home game and was impressed with the impact the 6ft 2in predator made in his debut season.

And he believes that Daly could score even more goals than he did last term as a result of the reinforcements which have arrived in Govan in recent weeks.

"I like the big man," said MacDonald. "Daly is a target man and it is always useful having a player like that in the team. He scored a lot of goals last season.

"But I didn't like seeing him playing up front by himself so much. He had to do that far too often for my liking.

"I felt he needed more support from the second striker. When he played with Dean Shiels, for example, his team- mate was always looking to come short and get the ball at his feet.

"When the team played a long, high ball up to Jon he was always trying to bring it down.

"Bringing balls down is not easy. I would have preferred it if Jon was flicking the ball on to a striker running off him. For me, he was far too isolated far too often."

He added: "Jon needs somebody who can run in behind the full-backs. I think Jon needs a runner like Kenny Miller playing off him. He can tee him up with chances with little flick-ons.

"Kenny certainly likes to play with big centre forwards. So I can see the two of them gelling well in the season ahead and scoring goals together.

"I don't think that Jon will be able to play up front with Boydy. For me, they are far too similar to play together. Boydy wants the ball at his feet in the box.

"Having said that, it is hard to say how things will pan out. Maybe Boyd and Daly will strike up a partnership this season. Stranger things have happened.

"I will be very interested to see how Ally is going to work it. In the past, one of his strikers dropped off and was more of an extra midfielder. He didn't really play two up front. But with Boyd and Miller at the club now he might have to go for it."

Daly was often the only striker McCoist had at his disposal last season - and at times he declared himself available for selection when he was carrying a knock.

MacDonald is pleased to see the Rangers manager has more options in the final third. However, he still expects the former Dundee United man to play his fair share of games.

He said: "Jon is injured just now and hasn't featured in pre-season. I think that last year he was injured quite a lot as well. He played in games when he really should have rested. That doesn't help you any.

"If you are playing with an injury and are struggling to score goals then the fans start to get on your back a bit. At Rangers, you are expected to perform very week.

"But I am sure Jon will feature a lot in the team once again this season. Why not?

"He scored a lot of goals for Dundee United during his time at Tannadice and he scored a lot of goals for Rangers last year."

MacDonald also expects Nicky Clark, who only netted nine times in the 2013/14 season after joining from Queen of the South, to pose a greater threat than he did before.

He said: "Nicky struggled with injuries last season. But the experience that he gained of being a Rangers player will definitely stand him in good stead.

"People think it must be easy to score goals for Rangers in the lower leagues. But there is still the pressure of playing for such a big club to deal with.

"I am sure Ally will have been watching all of his front men in pre-season and will have been thinking about what his best combination is up front.

"I am sure he will go for the tried and tested Boyd and Miller front line.

"But there is no way they will get through the whole season without picking up injuries or suspension. Clark and Daly will play."

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