Macleod mentor backs him to return better than ever

RANGERS starlet Lewis Macleod was today tipped to make a complete recovery from the virus that sidelined him last season.

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Lewis Macleod has been the pick of Murray Park prospects of the last couple of seasons but illness has held him back after his initial impact at the top level
Lewis Macleod has been the pick of Murray Park prospects of the last couple of seasons but illness has held him back after his initial impact at the top level

Macleod spent the second half of the 2013/14 campaign out after being struck down by a mystery illness.

There were serious concerns about the 19-year-old's health when it emerged that muscles surrounding his heart had been affected.

However, the midfielder, who has established himself as a regular at Ibrox since breaking through two years ago, has been given the all clear.

And Rangers youth supremo Jimmy Sinclair is sure he will be back better than ever in the SPFL Championship.

He said: "Lewis has had serious injuries before in his career and has come back well and I have no doubt he will do the same this time around.

"To be honest, I don't know how Lewis coped with being out last season because I found it awkward to speak to him about it.

"But I do know for a fact that he is a determined young man. If determination counts for anything at all I am certain that he will be back.

"I don't know the ins and outs of his condition or the ramifications of it. But I know he is the type of boy who will stick to his task."

Sinclair added: "Lewis was an integral part of the team last season and I have no doubt he will be again in the new season.

"His contribution to the team was excellent. He has been acknowledged as being an educated footballer. Clearly we are desperate for him to get back involved again."

Sinclair also feels that Fraser Aird, who was named Rangers' Young Player of the Year last season, will go from strength to strength in the new term.

The League One champions will find themselves up against mainly full-time rivals in the second tier - including Edinburgh clubs Hearts and Hibs.

But Sinclair has no concerns that Toronto-born winger Aird will handle the step up in standard and be a key member of Ally McCoist's side.

He said: "Fraser has stuck to the task really well and I think through last season he developed really well.

"I think that at many other clubs, where the demands are not as great as they are at Rangers, it is easier to persist with young players.

"I think Fraser benefited from getting a regular game during the course of the last season.

"He is a good example of somebody who the manager has kept faith with and who has now established himself as a first pick in the team.

"I don't think that will change during the new season. I am sure that he will continue to feature regularly."

Sinclair has, despite criticism of the number of senior players which Murray Park produces, been pleased with how the youngsters have progressed in the last two seasons.

The latest of those to step up to the first team was Calum Gallagher who forced his way into the Light Blues side towards the end of the season.

The 19-year-old impressed many Rangers supporters with his directness and powerful presence in the final third in the outings that he made.

He said: "Gallagher is a young boy who is extremely talented and who brings a lot of energy to the team.

"I am hopeful that he will continue to play in the first team next season and am sure that he will be involved no matter who comes in.

"But the manager obviously has his own demands to consider. The team needs to win games and continue to move up the leagues."

Football

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