‘Villain’ Ian Black confident he can win over Rangers fans
Ian Black is confident he can win over the Rangers fans who have not yet forgiven him for his challenge on Nikica Jelavic.
The former Hearts midfielder became an unpopular figure in the eyes of the Ibrox faithful as a result of the tackle which sidelined the Croatian striker for several months with ankle ligament damage in October 2010.
Jelavic sealed a move to Everton in January, while Black became the first signing for Rangers since the club was consigned to liquidation and became a new company this summer. And, as far as he is concerned, he would rather focus on what he sees as a bright future in Glasgow, than dwell on the past.
Black, preparing for a home debut on Tuesday when Rangers entertain East Fife in the Scottish Communities League Cup, said: “I think I was a villain for every SPL team but that’s part and parcel of the job. I’m sure I’ll win the fans over. I’m here to do a job for them. Some of them might have a bit of a grudge but I’ll hopefully do the business for them.
“People who know me, know what I’m like. I don’t dwell on the past or talk about it. What happens, happens. You have to get on with it. He (Jelavic) kicked on and moved down south and I’m here. But I’m sure if he was here, I would go and shake the big boy’s hand and enjoy working with him.”
Black and Dean Shiels both signed for Rangers despite the club being demoted to the Irn-Bru Third Division. And, as Ally McCoist attempts to build a squad before a 12-month transfer embargo takes effect on 1 September, Black urged other potential targets to follow suit. He said: “If there are players out there who have been contacted by the manager or the board, I would urge any of them to come here because it’s a special place.”
Black, who was a free agent after his Hearts contract expired, added: “I had a good number of offers and that’s why it raised a few peoples’ eyebrows but I was over the moon when Rangers came in. It’s an opportunity that doesn’t come around often at a club of this size. If you asked the majority of players who are playing in the SPL, if they had the opportunity to come to a club like this, I’m sure they would grab it with both hands.”
Other ties in the first round of the League Cup take place today, with Falkirk entertaining Elgin City, Livingston travelling to Stranraer and Raith Rovers at home to Berwick Rangers. Hamilton play Annan Athletic, Partick Thistle have a tricky tie away to Forfar, Ayr host Clyde, Queens Park face Airdrie United, Brechin City are at Stenhousemuir, Stirling Albion travel to Arbroath, Queen of the South take on Alloa, Montrose host Cowdenbeath and Dumbarton meet Albion Rovers.
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Friday 24 May 2013
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