Rangers defender Danny Wilson expects to experience a baby boom in his Ibrox career following the birth, 11 days ago, of his first child.
The arrival of his son is, he believes, a game-changer which will inspire him to become the player most pundits predicted he would blossom into when he became the Glasgow club’s youngest-ever Champions League participant, aged just 17 years and 312 days when he started the 1-1 draw against Unirea Urziceni in Bucharest.
Within a year he had amassed a clean sweep of domestic trophies, made his debut for Scotland and joined Liverpool for £2.3 million.
After which Wilson, inset, suffered from the footballing equivalent of the bends. With the first team at Anfield beyond his reach, unsuccessful loan spells at Blackpool and Bristol City followed before he rediscovered his mojo with Hearts in 2013, culminating in last season’s Championship triumph.
Now he’s convinced that his heir, whose arrival forced him to pull out of the 4-0 win over Dumbarton 12 days ago, will prove to be the catalyst he needed.
“We’ve had a wee boy and his name’s Roman,” said the 23-year-old. “Not after Abramovich – or Romanov either! It was just a name we liked.
“I’ve been hands on and enjoying it. The baby didn’t arrive until the early hours of Wednesday morning.
“It was a long labour but it all worked out well – now I’m getting right into going home and changing nappies and all that!
“People say you’ll be tired, but I don’t want to have that excuse. I intend to meet that challenge head on, to be good through the week and on the Saturday.
I’m doing everything I can to be as good a dad as I can be but I’m also preparing myself as well as I can to be the best footballer I can be as well. Win bonuses will help but I’m not going to put that pressure on the wee guy!”