No winging it from Rangers kid David Templeton

DAVID Templeton spoke openly of his desire to become a Rangers legend this week by helping the fallen Ibrox club rise once again.

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David Templeton turned in another top-class performance
David Templeton turned in another top-class performance

Given the ability and achievements of those who have successfully attained that status in the past, it is a lofty ambition. Indeed, he will be going some just to be mentioned in the same breath as the great wingers who have worn the Light Blue jersey.

Davie Cooper, Willie Johnston, Willie Henderson and Davie Wilson were all exceptional talents.

Yet, nobody who witnessed the diminutive forward in action in the first half yesterday would bet against him accomplishing his aim. Yes, the opposition for Rangers in the Irn-Bru Third Division was part-time Clyde.

But nothing should detract from the 23-year-old's hugely impressive personal performance, playing just behind lone frontman Lee McCulloch, in the opening 45 minutes.

He tormented the visitors with his pace and trickery, and deservedly collected another man-of-the-match award.

His ingenuity and skill set up Lee Wallace for the opening goal in the 21st minute; he scooped the ball over his own shoulder to send his team-mate clean through. Even better was to come. In the 38th minute he skinned his marker Paul Hay to create space for himself on the edge of the visitors' area.

His curling right-foot shot left Clyde goalkeeper Jamie Barclay with no chance and the ball sailed into the top right corner of the net.

Clyde, coached by two of Scotland's great football men, Chic Charnley and Jim Duffy, should be congratulated for their contribution to the afternoon's entertainment. At no stage did they revert to the crass tactics many of the clubs in the fourth tier have against Rangers during this campaign.

The Broadwood club attempted to play, not foul, their way back into the match in the second half and gave the home team some anxious moments.

Still, the Rangers players, due more to their superior athleticism and fitness than any cynicism on the part of their opponents, were still subjected to a few meaty tackles.

Templeton, more than anyone, was required to pick himself up and dust himself down. But he did so without complaint on every occasion.

Despite his size – he stands just 5ft 10in in his studs – and slight frame, the physical nature of the game does not faze him. That resilience augurs well for the future.

The former Hearts player, who signed on the final day of the summer transfer window, is clearly back to his best after recovering from ankle ligament damage. Still, he believes he can improve further this term, saying he remains unhappy with some of his decision-making and the accuracy of his shooting.

He was less influential in the second half and his team endured some anxious moments before Dean Shiels, who had replaced Andy Little, netted.

However, if David Cooper Templeton can perform even better than he currently is, then his stated intention to enter the Rangers history books is not inconceivable.

He is certainly held in high regard by the Rangers supporters already, and was given a standing ovation by the majority of the 47,463 crowd when he was replaced by Robbie Crawford late on.

Heck, the Gers fans even laud him in song – his name is belted out to the tune of "Give It Up" by KC and the Sunshine Band. Rangers manager Ally McCoist was certainly quick to sing his praises after a win that sent his club 12 points clear at the top of the table.

He said: "David is one of those players who will make things happen. Sometimes what David tries doesn't always come off. He will give the ball away at times. You just have to accept that. But when it does come off, he is exceptional.

"You will struggle to see a better second goal than the one David scored. It was a magical moment. He came back on to his right foot and slewed it into the top corner. It was a wonderful finish."

McCoist, of course, played with a few great entertainers in his time, and will not allow Templeton to let his standards drop from their current level in the remaining weeks and months of this term.

The same is true of his team, despite their league position. He will ensure they are up for a Glasgow derby game with Queen's Park at Hampden on Saturday which is set to attract another bumper crowd.

"We will certainly continue to do what we have been doing and that is treating everybody we play with respect," he stressed. "We will look to win games on merit. Our performances and results in recent weeks have been good, but we have another tough game coming up against one of the better sides in the league.

"We are in a good position, but there is still a long, long way to go. But I can see the boys begin to grow in confidence. That has come with the victories we have been getting and has added to the strength of the team."

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