Michael O'Halloran delighted Rangers dream came true

In his rush to get to Murray Park and finally conclude the saga of his long-mooted move to Rangers yesterday, Michael O'Halloran forgot to take his boots with him.

Michael O'Halloran. Picture: SNS

He will collect them this morning when he says his farewells to the St Johnstone players and staff before getting ready to make his debut for his new club against Raith Rovers at Stark’s Park tonight.

O’Halloran was happy to experience his own piece of transfer deadline day drama, signing a four-and-a-half year contract with Rangers at the end of a window when it looked at one stage as if their pursuit of him may have stalled fatally.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Read More

Read More
Transfer Deadline Day live blog: Celtic sign Roberts | Rangers bid for O’Hallora...

“I’m absolutely delighted it has gone through,” said the 25-year-old forward. “I first heard about it early in January, so I’m pleased I’ve finally got here.

“It always crosses your mind that it might not happen. But I just spoke to my representatives and I was always confident. They assured me it could still happen.

“The last day of the window is always hectic. I was sitting this morning waiting for the call and happily it came through.

“I watch deadline day on Sky Sports every time it comes around and always think it’s exciting stuff. But it’s not until you are part of the situation yourself that you realise how stressful it actually is and what the players involved go through. I know now. It’s not that easy.”

When Rangers’ initial offers for O’Halloran were rejected by St Johnstone two weeks ago, manager Tommy Wright left the player out of their match against Hamilton as he felt he wasn’t mentally ready to take part in the circumstances.

“I more or less thought the deal was going to be done over the weekend of that game,” admitted O’Halloran.

“But it obviously took a bit more time, so I had to get ready to play for St Johnstone again. You have to be prepared, because anything can happen in these situations. It has definitely been quite stressful.

“I could understand why Tommy left me out of the Hamilton game. I think he thought the deal was going to go through then as well.

“He was looking after things in what he felt was the best way for the team and for me. He has been great at managing the situation.

“I totally understood it. He spoke to me and told me I was back in the team the following week against Celtic, which I understood as well.

“All you want to do is play football. I’d have been happy to play the week before as well if he’d selected me, but it was just good to get back out against Celtic. The result wasn’t good on the day but it was a pleasing performance from myself.”

O’Halloran has no doubts Rangers will provide him with the ideal platform to advance his career and believes he can force his way into the Scotland squad over the next few years.

“For me, Rangers are going places,” he said. “It is on the up. They are flying just now, doing really well in the Championship and the objective is to get promotion this season.

“A club like Rangers should be able to win trophies and get into Europe. That’s a factor in me coming here. It is a huge opportunity for me.

“Being at Rangers is only going to help me, with the infrastructure and facilities here, along with the management team. The way they want to play suits my style and I think I will thrive on it and become a better player. I’m looking forward to progressing as a Rangers player.

“Like every other player, I want to play for my country. If I can perform well at a big club like Rangers, then hopefully the opportunity will come along. It would be a dream come true.

“I suppose it did enter my thoughts when the move was happening. It might help me on the international scene as well.

“The manager here told me how keen he was to get me. Whenever you play, you have to show you can handle it no matter what else is going on. You have to try to be your best every week. I know that is what is expected of me at Rangers. That’s what I’m going to try and do.”

O’Halloran began his career at Celtic who released him as a teenager before he joined Bolton. His father, Michael senior, is an academy coach at the Scottish champions but is as thrilled as anyone by his son’s move to the other half of Glasgow’s football divide.

“He is delighted for me,” said O’Halloran. “He wants me to go on and play at the highest level possible. There will definitely be a wee bit of banter in the house now, though! But my mum will definitely be supporting me at Rangers. I’m a mummy’s boy!”

Meanwhile, Rangers also signed Mekhi McLeod from Wolves but the wide player will start off with the club’s under-20s squad.