Little ready to right wrong as Rangers return to scene of the crime at Forthbank

RANGERS have been suffering a seemingly endless stream of indignities since going into administration this time last year.

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Sebastien Faure celebrates his goal at Berwick with Dean Shiels
Sebastien Faure celebrates his goal at Berwick with Dean Shiels

The mass exodus of their senior players, being banished into the Irn-Bru Third Division and crashing out of every cup competition this season have all been difficult to bear for their fans.

But losing to Stirling Albion, officially the worst club in senior football in Scotland, at Forthbank back in October was undoubtedly the lowest point.

A poor run of form on the road in the league had seen Ally McCoist's hastily-assembled lot slump to embarrassing draws against Peterhead, Berwick and Annan.

However, the 1-0 loss to Stirling, a part-time team propping up the bottom division, was utterly wretched.

Since then, matters have improved considerably for the Ibrox giants.

A young and inexperienced Rangers team has overcome difficulties on the road. They are currently 22 points clear at the top of the league table.

Nevertheless, the humiliating reverse they suffered to Greig McDonald's side four months ago still rankles with McCoist's players.

Andy Little missed the match having suffered a foot injury in training while he was on international duty with Northern Ireland the month before.

Yet, the striker, who took his tally for the season to 21 with his wonder goal on Saturday against Berwick, confirms the team are desperate to bury the memory of the loss when they return to the scene of the crime tonight.

"We never take a draw or a defeat easily at Rangers," he said.

"It certainly hurts us whenever we drop points in this league."

Rangers successfully atoned for the 1-1 draw they suffered against Berwick Rangers at Shielfield Park in August with a 3-1 victory at the weekend.

Little, who netted what has to be a contender for goal of the season in Northumberland, has targeted another win against Stirling Albion.

He said: "When you go back to play a team you have lost to, as we did at Berwick on Saturday, then you definitely have a point to prove. You want to right your wrongs.

"I think we did that at the weekend. Yes, it was a very, very scrappy game. But we showed our battling qualities and underlined how much we have improved since the start of the season.

"We are hoping for more of the same against Stirling this evening. We don't need any more motivation for this game.

"We are close to winning the league and that is probably the biggest incentive for us.

"But certainly we are never happy when we get beaten or draw with a team.

"We will use what happened the last time at Forthbank as extra motivation against Stirling Albion if need be."

Amid the furore about the unseemly off-field events at Berwick, the wonderful left- foot volley Little netted just before half-time has been largely overlooked. As, for that matter, was the goal Sebastien Faure bagged midway through the second half to sew up all three points for the visitors.

It was the Frenchman's first goal for Rangers since arriving in Glasgow last summer and his team-mate is hopeful it will spur him on to even greater heights.

The 22-year-old, who can play in defence or in midfield, has been used sporadically by manager McCoist during the 2012/13 campaign.

But Little is optimistic the former Lyon kid, who came on for the injured Ross Perry in the second half at Berwick, can pitch in with more before the end of the season.

HE SAID: "I was delighted for Sebastien. He is a great guy with a really good attitude, it was really pleasing for him to get his first goal.

"He got it at a very important time in the game for us.

"He gave us a two goal cushion that proved important. Seb is more of a defender. But if he can chip in with some goals like that then it is much appreciated.

"We enjoy it when we can score from set-pieces especially. We don't feel we have scored enough from dead-ball situations so it was good that we did it at the weekend."

Little has certainly thrived since being moved into his favoured position up front in the absence of injured club captain Lee McCulloch.

The 23-year-old has pitched in with five goals in the last three games – he bagged doubles in the emphatic wins against Queen's Park at home and Clyde away.

In addition, having claimed a hat-trick in the 4-2 win over Berwick at Ibrox last month, he has netted eight times in his last seven appearances.

Given that he has spent long spells on the sidelines through injury, and has often been played wide on the right wing, it is a remarkable haul for the man from Enniskillen as he continues his development at Rangers.

He mused: "At the start of the season, Jig (McCulloch) was scoring goals for fun when he was playing up front by himself. The manager had no need to change things.

"There was nobody else in the squad at that time who could have played on the right hand side of midfield either. But I must admit I have been pleased with how I have done since I have been moved up front.

"I just need to keep it going, keep playing well, keep scoring goals. That is what I want to do. But I know there are a lot of players at this club who would like to play up front. I need to keep performing.

"But yes, I am happy with how things are going for me at the moment. I have had injuries before so it is good to be fit and playing regularly. Long may it continue.

"Hopefully, I can get my name on the scoresheet again against Stirling Albion this evening."

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