Dean Shiels’ agent is seeking urgent talks with Rangers manager Ally McCoist to discover whether the player has a future at Ibrox.
The 28-year-old has had only 15 minutes of first-team football – coming off the bench when Rangers were 6-1 up against Forfar on 3 December – in the past two months, despite being fully fit during that time.
Northern Ireland midfielder Shiels suffered medial ligament damage in a match against Annan Athletic in March and came back too early in August, managing only three games before suffering a relapse.
However, he has been raring to go again since November and his agent, Sam Morrow, is looking for some comfort from McCoist.
“Dean has been fit for two months now,” he said. “He’s been working hard and even doing extra training – he’s champing at the bit to play again. We’re in the dark as to why he hasn’t featured more often. I left a message for Ally last week but he hasn’t got back to me yet.
“I appreciate that this has been a hectic schedule for the club and I’m not trying to tell him how to do his job. I’m just looking to have a chat so he can help Dean to stay focused. As a footballer you can become disillusioned when you’re not playing. It can be difficult doing all the hard graft during the week and then having nothing to show for it on a Saturday.
“In Dean’s case, there is added frustration because he wasn’t left out due to a loss of form but because of injury and it’s been a long time now since he was playing regularly.”
Shiels signed a four-year deal at Ibrox after leaving Kilmarnock in the summer of 2012 and he has no intention of moving elsewhere. “All he wants to do is play for Glasgow Rangers, the club that he loves,” said Morrow. “I’m sure Ally will get in touch with me whenever he gets a minute but we’re just looking for a little reassurance from him.
“There were rumours the other week that Dean had been told he can leave if he could find another club but that’s absolute rubbish and I saw that Ally had confirmed that, too. His position is different from fringe players who haven’t been getting a game for other reasons.
“I’m sure that it’s just a matter of time before Dean is playing for Rangers again. He’s a very talented boy and it’s just over a year-and-a-half ago that he had been short-listed by the PFA as one of the top four players in the SPL.
“Dean just wants to show the Rangers fans what they have in him and, of course, there is also his situation with Northern Ireland to be taken into consideration. He was a regular starter under Michael O’Neill when he was fit but he needs to be playing for Rangers to be considered once the international games come round again.”