Mohsni dreams of taking Rangers back to the top and into Europe

IN a season that was more substance over style for Rangers, Bilel Mohsni often brought a welcome hint of the unknown and sense of the unpredictable during a relentless charge to the League One title.

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Mohsni has struck up a bond with Lee McCulloch
Mohsni has struck up a bond with Lee McCulloch

The defender immediately endeared himself to the Light Blue legions with his eccentric style and love for the club following his summer switch to Ibrox.

And while he often gave the fans and boss Ally McCoist reasons to watch through their fingers, he has enjoyed an eye-catching debut campaign in Scotland.

Yes, he has shown signs that his infamous temper could spill over, and the odd momentary lapse of concentration ended up costing Rangers on a couple of occasions but, alongside skipper Lee McCulloch, Mohsni has proven to be a decent acquisition.

It has turned out to be a successful first season in Scottish football for Mohsni and the former Southend United and Ipswich star has lapped up life at Rangers as he has made the most of his chance to make a positive first impression.

"I've really enjoyed my first year here and Rangers is a great club to play for," he said.

"The training facilities are excellent, Ibrox is a fantastic stadium and the fans are unbelievable.

"The games have been tough at times as our opponents have worked very hard and sometimes we have not scored until late on games but this is okay.

"If we win I am happy but it is better if we play well and entertain the fans.

"There have been games where we have not been at our best but there have also been a lot where we have played really well and we have scored a lot of goals."

Rangers fans didn't know what they were getting when Mohsni was recruited by McCoist last summer, with few aware of the talents of the unorthodox centre-half who has also played as a striker and left-winger during his nomadic career to date.

And the French-Tunisian is determined to continue giving the Ibrox crowd plenty to cheer about as he bids to star on far bigger stages.

"They are so important to the club and wherever we play they are there," Mohsni said. "It's impossible to realise just how pleasing it is to be surrounded by so many fans.

"My dream is to take the club back up to the top and into Europe where it belongs.

"People have so much love for this club and I can only imagine what it is like in the Scottish Premiership and for European games."

With an unbeaten League One campaign ticked off and winner's medal on his mantlepiece, Mohnsi, like the rest of his Light Blues team-mates, can look back at a job well done.

They are now just one title win away from completing their journey back to Scotland's top flight and Mohsni is eager to play his part.

"It will be nice to get a break, of course, and to see my family, but after that I am looking forward to coming back and playing in the Championship against better teams," he said.

"I'm sure we can win this league and then in one year we will be back in the top league and everyone will be happy.

"We'll have the Glasgow derby back again and everybody will look at Rangers like before. The games in the Championship will be very good and I'm confident we can do well next season."

It was not just in his more familiar centre-half berth that Mohsni impressed as McCoist's side cruised to the League One title this term.

The defender added his weight at the other end of the field as the 100 goals and 100 points barriers were breached.

His scoring tally of 12 was outdone by back-four partner McCulloch as the Ibrox captain hit the net 18 times.

And the Gers' No.3 has hailed his skipper for leading by example once again as Rangers moved another step closer to the top flight. "Lee is a very good player and I've really enjoyed playing alongside him," Mohsni told Ready, the Rangers matchday magazine.

"He has helped me a lot, but he helps everyone in the team, especially our younger players. He has so much experience to pass on to them and this season he has played at a very high level.

"He has scored a lot of goals, including important penalties.On my debut against Arbroath he scored one of the best goals of the season and I was like 'wow!' that was incredible.

"So Lee has been a great player for Rangers again this season and we have had a good partnership at the back."

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