Joe Garner: Rangers are biggest club I’ve played for

Joe Garner was unveiled to the fans during Rangers' victory over Motherwell on Saturday. Picture: SNS
Joe Garner was unveiled to the fans during Rangers' victory over Motherwell on Saturday. Picture: SNS
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Joe Garner admits he had to grab his chance to join Rangers - because he feared he might not get another shot at the big time.

The former Preston frontman begged Deepdale boss Simon Grayson to allow him to speak to Gers last week.

And he was delighted when the Light Blues struck a £1.5million deal with the SkyBet Championship outfit to bring him north of the border.

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The 28-year-old knows what it is like to shoulder the responsibility of playing for a major club having previously spent time with Blackburn Rovers and Nottingham Forest.

But he confessed he was worried he would end up with regrets if he knocked back his Ibrox switch.

“I’ve played at massive clubs before like Nottingham Forest but I think Rangers is the biggest I’ve played for,” said the former England youth international.

“I think it would be fair to say that, at 28, I had to grasp this opportunity because I wasn’t sure if I’d get another like it.

“When I heard about the club’s interest, it was something my family and I couldn’t turn down.

“The club has sold 45,000 season tickets, so that says everything about the size of things here and I’m really looking forward to it.”

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Garner admits there is pressure on him after Warburton shelled out his biggest fee yet as Gers boss to secure his services.

Previously, the Englishman had not spent more than the £500,000 which secured Michael O’Halloran from St Johnstone back in January but Garner’s price-tag is an indication of the value Warburton thinks he can bring to his side.

However, Garner hopes he can find the net on a regular basis, just as he did when rattling home 27 goals during Preston’s promotion campaign two years ago.

He said: “Maybe you could say (there is more pressure on me because of the money the club have paid). It’s a massive club and a big fee. I can put pressure on myself or just take it in my stride and embrace it.

“But I saw the game against Motherwell at the weekend with those great fans. If you’re winning it’s obviously a great place to play.

“The lads came away with a win at the weekend and the changing room was happy.

“I’ve played against a lot of the manager’s teams before and I know he likes to play attacking football and keep a lot of possession.

“As a striker, when you play in that kind of attacking style you know nine times out of 10 you’re going to get a lot of chances and it was something I wanted to be a part of.

“The gaffer knows my strengths and weaknesses but hopefully I can bring something a little bit different to what we have at the minute.”

Garner should make his debut against Kilmarnock in Friday night’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash at Rugby Park.

But his eye has already drifted down the fixture list to next month’s Old Firm duel with Celtic.

“My phone has been ringing non-stop with people looking for tickets,” he said. “They’re a bit like gold dust though.

“The lads are already looking forward to the game. Obviously we’ve got Kilmarnock at the weekend first though.

“That’s a massive game and we’ll be looking to take three points first. But you can tell the city is already getting ready for the Old Firm game.”

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