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Tuesday, 16 April 2013 18:00

A Chance To Progress

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BILLY KIRKWOOD wants Rangers to make the most of their games in hand in the Reserve League Cup as they finally get their campaign going again this midweek.

The Light Blues meet Partick Thistle at 2pm tomorrow in a match the Jags were due to host but which has been reversed to Murray Park.

Gers are currently third from bottom in the eight-team West Section with four points but only because they have played just two games so far.

All bar one of the five teams above them have played at least twice more and Airdrie, who top the group just five points ahead of the league champions, have only one tie left.

Unsurprisingly that’s against Rangers and it has yet to be arranged, with Kirkwood and his team focusing on three other fixtures first.

Following the clash with Thistle, there will be games at Auchenhowie next Monday and Thursday (both 7.30pm) as the backlog is gradually cleared.

The two teams placed highest in the pool after seven games have been played will advance to semi-finals with the leading two East Section sides.

Caretaker reserve boss Kirkwood said: “It’s nice to have games in hand but it will only be nice if we pick up points when we get them played.

“I know we’ve got two or three extra ones to play compared with most of the teams who are above us and they haven’t pulled away too much.

“At the same time, it’s crucial we pick up something positive from this match and we can’t rely on the fact we’ve still got more games to play than most other people.

“We want to get ourselves back on level terms with other people then ahead of them if possible to give ourselves the best chance of making the semi-finals.

“We’re playing catch-up and whatever team we put out, it will difficult for us. Hopefully we can make the most of the games we have in hand though and progress.”

This is Rangers’ first reserve fixture since previous second-string boss Tommy Wilson left the club to take up a youth post in America with MLS outfit Philadelphia Union.

Kirkwood has worked extremely closely with the 51-year-old for a number of seasons now and was sad to see him go.

He added: “We lost Tommy with a really heavy heart because we’ve worked well together in the last six or seven years and things have gone very well for us in the youth department.

“I think he has been tempted to go across there and be his own man setting up a new team in America after all the changes at the club in the last year or so.

“Everyone wishes him the best of luck. It’s a big task for Tommy and it’ll be a great adventure for him.”

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