KYLE HUTTON hopes he can make the most of Ian Black's absence as he bids to hold down a regular Rangers starting berth.
Black was crocked during the the Scottish Cup win over Elgin eight days ago and was forced to miss their Irn-Bru Third Division win over Stirling Albion on Saturday as Rangers marked their 140th anniversary with a 2-0 Ibrox triumph.
With Lee McCulloch once again filling in at centre-half, Hutton was handed a starting jersey alongside fellow Murray Park protege Lewis Macleod at the heart of the Light Blues midfield.
The youngster has just a handful of appearances to his credit so far this season but is keen to use the coming weeks to prove his worth to boss Ally McCoist after another composed performance in the middle of the park.
Hutton said: "It is good to be back playing. Unfortunately for Blackie he is injured but it means that I am getting my shot, which is good.
"It was great to come in and play – especially on such a big occasion as Saturday – and to get the win is even better. It was a great day all round.
"Football is a team game but there comes a stage where you need to think about No.1, yourself.
"It is unfortunate about Blackie getting injured and it is certainly a loss to the team but I need to go in there and do what I always try to, show the gaffer what I can do and hopefully I can stake a claim for a place."
Despite dominating for much of the afternoon, Rangers required second half strikes from David Templeton and Andy Little to secure the points and avoid a second shock result against Stirling this season.
In front of a sell-out Ibrox crowd, and a host of Light Blue legends who returned to the club for their milestone celebrations, the Gers started brightly but couldn't make the decisive breakthrough as a number of chances went begging in a one-sided affair.
Victory keeps up Rangers' impressive recent run of form and Hutton was relieved the current crop of stars didn't put a downer on the party atmosphere.
He said: "We should have won by more, we had a good few chances. We just wanted to go out and put on a good performance and get a good win. I thought we did that and had a good game.
"When you don't get that early goal and you keep pressing for a goal, you start to worry slightly if it is going to come. We were confident that if we just kept playing the way we were playing then it would eventually come and we would go on and score a few.
"The gaffer said to us before we went out that he wanted us to give a good account of ourselves and go and get the win and do it for the fans. We did that so we are all happy."