David Templeton: No more winging it ... it's time I stepped on the Rangers goals trail for good

THERE are still four months of the season remaining.

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David Templeton is enjoying his best season in front of goal but the forward knows his tally for Gers could be even higher
David Templeton is enjoying his best season in front of goal but the forward knows his tally for Gers could be even higher

But, already, this has been David Templeton's most successful campaign in terms of goals scored.

The winger has netted 11 times in all competitions, twice for former club Hearts and on nine occasions for Rangers.

That tally is a vast improvement on last term when the 24-year-old only managed to hit the target twice for the Jambos. And it is already better than in the 2005/06 season when he struck eight times – his previous best – for Stenhousemuir in the Third Division.

But is the forward, whose trickery has won him many admirers since moving to Ibrox back in August, satisfied with his record haul? Not at all.

Templeton actually believes his finishing has, at times, left much to be desired since he joined the Glasgow giants.

Certainly, he feels as responsible as anyone in Ally McCoist's side for their poor performances up front so far this month.

Rangers have lacked a cutting edge in the final third in their meetings with Elgin City, Peterhead and Montrose in recent weeks.

In two of those outings, against Elgin and Montrose at Ibrox, they paid a heavy price for that failing and crashed to embarrassing 1-1 draws against part-time opponents.

And Templeton is, despite being the third top scorer at the Gers behind just Lee McCulloch and Andy Little, determined to do far better.

He reckons Rangers can only beat SPL rivals Dundee United at Tannadice in the William Hill Scottish Cup on Saturday if they are more clinical in front of goal.

"If I get any scoring chances up front then I need to look at taking them a lot more than I have been," he admitted as he looked ahead to the fifth round tie.

"I had one against Peterhead up at Balmoor a few weeks ago that I missed. It was basically a sitter. I over-reversed it when I should have tucked it away.

"I have not been scoring as much as I would have liked to. That is the sort of thing that I need to work on.

"This season is actually the most I have ever scored, but I know that I need to keep on improving. Hopefully I can do that and score more goals.

"If we pass up the sort of chances that we did against Montrose then I think we will struggle against United. We all, myself included, have to be far more clinical."

Templeton added: "Against Montrose on Saturday we had several clear-cut scoring chances and we failed to take them. Ian Black hit the post twice for us.

"That has been the problem with the team recently, not taking those chances when they come along. That is something we have to sort out quickly.

"We should have been killing teams off and we haven't been. We have to do better in that area against United this weekend.

"It will be a step up in standard from what we have been used to this season against Dundee United. They are a top quality side.

"If we pass up chances the way we have been doing then it will come back to haunt us. I will have to be far more switched on up front than I have been. We all will."

Templeton was delighted to hear manager McCoist reveal this week that club captain McCulloch is on course to return against United. The 34-year-old former Scotland international has not featured for Rangers since the 1-1 draw with Elgin at Ibrox on January 5 due to a persistent ankle injury.

The absence of the player who has scored 22 times this season has coincided with a dip in form by the runaway Third Division leaders.

Templeton reckons having the vastly experienced player back in the team on Tayside will increase their chances of pulling off an upset.

Making an already demanding fixture more difficult is the fact only a handful of Rangers fans will be in attendance due to a controversial boycott.

The appointment of former Celtic star Jackie McNamara as manager is also sure to produce a response from United players keen to impress.

However, the wide man believes this young Rangers side needs to learn to cope without their talismanic skipper, and other influential players, in the future.

"No doubt about it, Lee is a massive player for this club and has scored a lot of goals for us this season," said Templeton.

"But when he is injured, as he has been for four of our five games this month, then other players have to come in and take chances.

"I believe Lee will be back fit soon which is great to hear. Hopefully he can get back in the first team and back scoring goals as soon as possible.

"Having a player who can score goals is something we have been missing recently so it will good to have him back involved again soon.

"But, having said that, we do have to ensure that we keep scoring goals and winning games whenever players drop out through injury and suspension."

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