The odds are still in Lee's favour during Ibrox hunger games

LEE WALLACE walked into the Rangers dressing room and was surrounded by an array of multi-million-pound stars who had just added more silverware to the Ibrox trophy cabinet.

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Lee Wallace still has a desire to win at Rangers despite a drop down the divisions in Scotland
Lee Wallace still has a desire to win at Rangers despite a drop down the divisions in Scotland

Now, more than two years on, the faces have changed, as have the prizes on offer, but the defender insists the will to win and hunger for success remains the same as Ally McCoist's side bid for a league and cup double.

Wallace could never have imagined the circumstances that would unfold during his rollercoaster Rangers career, with many of the men he once shared a pitch with, including the likes of Allan McGregor, Steven Whittaker, Steven Davis and Nikica Jelavic, heading for the exit as McCoist's squad was savaged during the worst of the club's financial problems.

The current crop of players the Gers boss has at his disposal don't have the same reputation, experience or calibre as those that wore the famous blue jersey not that long ago, but the former Hearts star reckons one quality always shines through at Ibrox.

"I came here with some top players and in one of the first interviews I did I described how I had come into a winning dressing room and I wanted to become a winner," Wallace said.

"At the time, we were just off the back of winning the league. I came into a dressing room of winners. This season, it has been more than evident we have plenty winners in the dressing room, albeit at a different standard and different in terms of where we are as a club at this minute.

"That doesn't change, we are still going out and representing Rangers and playing in front of record-breaking crowds.

"We are going out to win every game and be successful in the league and the cup. That side of it hasn't changed.

"I am in a dressing room with guys who are playing their hearts out and trying to win games. That is what we are looking to try and continue."

After many of his illustrious team-mates headed for pastures new, Wallace has been joined by a new group of players aiming to write their names in the Ibrox history books.

The likes of Cammy Bell, Bilel Mohnsi, Nicky Law and Jon Daly have proven instrumental for McCoist's side as they have stormed into a commanding position in the SPFL League One title race.

The Gers head into this afternoon's festive clash with Stranraer aiming to notch their 21st successive victory and Wallace is delighted to see the new Light Blues in full flow.

He said: "It is maybe easy for folk to look at our run with a bit of disdain and say that it should be done and we should be winning these games every week.

"We are going out there with a massive expectancy to win games and that expectancy is at an all-time high now.

"We are happy to do that and happy to thrive on the pressure on us to go out and win games.

"There is added expectation of winning the games well now, we want to put in a performance. The guys have come in and they have adapted really quickly. They have freshened the place up, which has been great."

While a number of McCoist's stars have shone brightly so far, Wallace has arguably been the pick of the bunch for the Third Division champions, with his fine domestic form enough to win him a recall to the Scotland setup earlier this year.

His marauding runs and partnership with Lewis Macleod on Rangers' left flank have been trademarks of the season and the 26-year-old is delighted to be making an impact.

He said: "I have been able to get forward more times in the last 10 or 15 games than I did before.

"That will never detract away from my defensive responsibilities. I know that and the manager stresses that to me.

"He is happy for me to get forward but, first and foremost, I am a defender and I will never shirk those responsibilities.

"It is a part of my game I feel I need to improve on and it is what I will try and improve on. I have really enjoyed this season, it has been great.

"What has made it even better is the run we are on and the dressing room is great. Hopefully we can continue that to the end of the season."

Rangers, and Wallace, may be operating at a level far below their normal standard but that doesn't detract from their displays or achievements.

The left-back has recently moved to play down fears he could leave the club in January after speculation about his Gers future.

McCoist would, of course, be extremely reluctant to let him go and the defender is determined to raise the bar once again.

"I am looking to improve whether it is in (Murray Park) Monday to Friday or on a match day," Wallace told Rangerstv.

"We do that as players, we talk about things we can improve on when we do the video stuff with the manager.

"He is thorough in his preparations and when he looks back at what we could have done or should have done.

"Regardless of where we are, we are always looking to improve."


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