TIMES TALKER: Does Kevin Kyle merit first-team run?

NO says MATTHEW LINDSAY

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Kevin Kyle netted his first goal in a Rangers shirt at Ochilview Park
Kevin Kyle netted his first goal in a Rangers shirt at Ochilview Park

KEVIN KYLE'S first goal for Rangers at the weekend was warmly welcomed by many in Scottish football.

The big striker has struggled with his fitness for over a season now and even feared his career could be over at one stage. His goal against East Stirlingshire was, then, a major milestone in the 31-year-old's road to recovery – but it does not mean that he should be the first name on the Rangers team sheet.

Kyle was handed his first start due to a spate of injuries but he will have to offer more up front before he can be considered a regular starter.

Playing as a lone striker is a tough shift for such a big man. Lee McCulloch, the top scorer in the country, has struggled in the role at times, and Kyle must show greater mobility and set up as well as score goals if he expects to feature from kick-off on a weekly basis.

Hopefully having scored his first goal though, the striker can push on and do exactly that.

YES says ALISON McCONNELL

AT the start of the season Kevin Kyle turned up at Ibrox looking unfit and heavy.

However, he was adamant that he once he had the time to get in shape he would have something to offer.

With a host of injury problems, particularly with defensive personnel, drafting Kyle up front and putting Lee McCulloch at the back is the clearest option available to Ally McCoist.

Kyle looks fit, he is powerful and he will take a lot of confidence from opening his account at Rangers.

It makes perfect sense to therefore suggest that he is capable of dovetailing up front with the likes of Dean Shiels – especially since David Templeton is still sidelined.

Kyle has been around the block long enough to know what is needed to get Rangers through some of the more physical games in the bottom tier and his experience as much as his ability will come in useful for McCoist.

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