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Wednesday, 17 April 2013 17:00

Pride At Half Century

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ANDY LITTLE has revealed his pride at teaming up with Lee McCulloch to hit a half century of Rangers goals this season – even if it’s a partnership with a difference.

The captain’s opener against Clyde in a 2-0 victory against them at the weekend brought the pair up to 50 strikes overall after hitting 25 each in 2012/13 so far.

They are the first pair of Light Blues players to reach that mark since Ally McCoist and Mark Hateley 20 years ago when they scored 77 times between them.

But the achievement is a curious one as the occasions in which Little and McCulloch have actually played alongside each other in attack have been few and far between.

And the Northern Ireland cap said: “Jig and I have taken the mantle really well between the two of us, even though we’ve both had injuries at different points this season.

“It has usually been the case that when one of us has been out, the other one has stepped up and been in good form.

“If you want to look upon that as being a good partnership, that’s probably the best way to look at how we have worked.

“He has taken over when I’ve been out and I’ve filled in when he hasn’t been available to the team or he has had to play in defence.

“We haven’t actually played that many games up front together but the two of us have certainly chipped in with a lot of goals including a few important ones.

“As a partnership, we’re both pretty proud to have reached 50 goals and we’ve been giving the manager a bit of stick about it too.

“Unfortunately though he’s always got a reply and he’s not the sort of person you can really get one over on.”

There will be some who might belittle the strike duo’s achievement by pointing out they were expected to score more often given they were playing in the Third Division this season.

But Little counters that by insisting there was still a job to be done and there’s no doubt he and McCulloch have done theirs well.

Now the 23-year-old is looking ahead to next season and is seeking more consistency in his game.

There have been prolific scoring runs from Little such as eight goals in seven games at the start of the season and nine strikes in six in February and March.

He also had a sequence of six matches without netting at all though and wants a more steady return overall going forward.

Little added: “Stats can be great and when I look back at mine I’m happy with them. People can say we’re in the Third Division but we’ve still got to put the ball in the net.

“Scoring is a habit and going into the start of next season, I feel I’ll be a totally different player personally because of how this year has gone for me.

“I could have been in the SPL this season but I might have had a season like I’ve had in the last three or four for Rangers where I’ve worked hard but not got a lot of chances.

“This year I’ve stayed in the team when I’ve been fit and at the very start of the campaign I wanted to play and didn’t care about goals too much.

“I wanted to get more than 30 games under my belt and I’ve managed that. The goals have come too and that has been a bonus.

“Now I’m looking for more consistency of performance. That’s something I think I definitely need to improve on.

“I’ve had niggling injuries that have affected me at times but when I’ve been fit I’ve done well and I want more of that next year.”

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