Joe Dodoo: Rangers can definitely win league this season

Joe Dodoo believes he will be part of something special at Ibrox this season and that was the compelling reason for turning his back on the prospect of Champions League football.

Rangers Joe Dodoo celebrates scoring his sides third goal against East Stirlingshire at Ochilview on Friday. Picture: PA
Rangers Joe Dodoo celebrates scoring his sides third goal against East Stirlingshire at Ochilview on Friday. Picture: PA

The Ghanaian striker was naturally enticed by the possibility of sampling Uefa’s elite competition with Leicester City, the remarkable winners of the Premier League last season.

However, with Jamie Vardy, Shinji Okazaki and Leonardo Ulloa ahead of him in the pecking order he knew his opportunities would have been limited.

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Dodoo has now completely bought into Mark Warburton’s plan at Rangers and firmly believes that his first season in Scotland could be a memorable one.

He said: “We can definitely win the league. We have amazing quality. At the back, in the middle, up the top we have the players who can achieve something great this season.

“The manager is driving that message home that this can be a great season. Every day we work to improve. Everyone is focused on achieving a big season.

“I have high hopes for my time at Rangers. We have a manager here who likes to develop young players. He is going to teach me all that I need to learn.

“Nothing can beat that. All players should be looking to learn at all times. So it’s great for me to come here to Rangers and develop.

“Of course there was a temptation to stay at Leicester given they have Champions League football.

“But I need to be playing first-team football. To be fair, the manager and the staff here have persuaded me that here is where I need to be. The players have made it really easy to settle in. To have a manager willing to teach me the right way of playing football, I couldn’t say no to that.”

Dodoo scored on his debut last Friday night in the 3-0 win over East Stirlingshire and is relishing the prospect of his first game at Ibrox tonight, when Rangers should make sure of qualification to the last 16 of the Betfred Cup against Stranraer.

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He is liable to be playing with an old friend as Warburton rotates his squad again to have everyone ready for the Premiership kick-off in 12 days’ time. Dodoo said: “I was at Leicester City with Martyn Waghorn [pictured left]. I was a young one back then. I played with him quite a lot and he is a great guy. He is one of the players who has made it so easy for me to come up to Rangers.

“I’m looking forward to playing with him all season. Martyn is off the mark for the season already and now I am off the mark already too. So we need to continue working hard for the team. The team comes first.

“But Martyn did really well last season scoring 28 goals and that was fantastic and his success was one of the reasons I came up here.

“I am looking forward to playing at Ibrox for the first time. It’s such a huge stadium. Even at Ochilview, the fans were so loud. I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, what will it be like with 50,000 fans?’ I can’t wait to see Ibrox erupt.

“I’ve watched Rangers v ­Celtic before on TV and I remember thinking how crazy­ it looked. You could pick up on the tension between both sets of supporters and both sets of players. When the whistle goes, the tackles fly in and you feel the rivalry.

“I thought to myself, ‘This rivalry up in Scotland must be something else’. So it will be good for me to experience it as a Rangers player.”