DJ: Nicky's coming to the four at last for Rangers

NICKY Clark set the standard he must aspire to in every game he plays for Rangers against Forfar Athletic at Ibrox on Tuesday night.

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Nicky Clark keeps hold of the match ball after netting four against Forfar Athletic
Nicky Clark keeps hold of the match ball after netting four against Forfar Athletic

But I fully expect the young striker, who netted four times in the SPFL League One match, to go on and score goals, and a lot of them, for the Gers now.

Nicky banged in over 40 goals as Queen of the South ran away with the Second Division title last season to be crowned the top scorer in British football.

When Ally McCoist signed him in the summer, many people thought he would go on and score even more than that during the 2013/14 campaign.

The 22-year-old has worked hard whenever he has got the nod, but, sadly, not much has fallen for him. He had only scored three goals before the Forfar match.

But as I know only too well from my own playing days it is not as straightforward as many people believe.

Last season when Nicky played only about 1,500 or so fans watched him. It is a lot more demanding when there are 40,000 scrutinising your every move.

Even at away games, the stadiums are packed. There is far more pressure on him on match days. There is also far greater scrutiny from the media and the general public.

In many ways he was a big fish in a small pond at Queen of the South. Now he is a small fish in a big pond.

But he is learning to swim. It has taken him time to get used to the demands of his new club.

But Nicky is a Rangers fan. He knows exactly what the fans expect and exactly what is required from him. It is important that strikers do the basics well.

He certainly does that. He holds the ball up well, he has a good first touch, his movement is excellent. He contributes a great deal to the team.

He has not been scoring goals, but he will have taken confidence from his performance the other night and will only go from strength to strength.

Nicky's job is, at the end of the day, to put the ball in the back of the net. It all came good on Tuesday.

He had his best 90 minutes in a Rangers shirt. As long as he has full-backs and wingers supplying him with decent balls then he will score goals.

I saw him inside the stadium after the game happily clutching the match ball.

I am sure it will take pride of place on his mantelpiece at home. All of a sudden, things are starting to happen for him. The first goal the other night showed what he is all about.

He used his pace to gain a couple of yards on the defender who was marking him. It was a clever run and a good finish.

Jon Daly has gone off the boil a little bit in the last couple of games. But with his strike partner starting to score that has not mattered.

Nicky has shown what a good player he is. Sure, he scored four goals the other evening. But he also created eight or nine chances.

He was also unlucky not to score with numerous other shots. He is a deadly penalty box player.

Some of the deliveries he received from Lee Wallace were outstanding. The left back's overlapping play was fantastic.

If Nicky hadn't received the man-of-the-match award then Lee most certainly would have.

I think Nicky will go on and score a lot of goals this season and in the future. In fact, I think he will score mega goals.

I am hopeful David Templeton will also kick on after his display against Forfar.

He has admitted himself publicly that he has endured a nightmare season and that his confidence is very low.

But he scored a late goal after coming on as a substitute against Falkirk at the weekend. And against Forfar this week he lit the field up after coming on and won a penalty.

I was pleased for him. He is capable of providing the spark that the team needs to flourish.

I was also delighted to see Dean Shiels make his comeback from a long spell on the sidelines this week. He nearly scored with his first touch of the game.

With Dean making his comeback, David showing better form and Nicky scoring four goals, there were a huge number of positives for Ally to take out of the game.


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