Andy Halliday admits he’s constantly fighting for his Rangers career

Andy Halliday challenges Progres Niederkorn's Adrian Ferino at Ibrox. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
Andy Halliday challenges Progres Niederkorn's Adrian Ferino at Ibrox. Picture: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
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Andy Halliday has his eye on a treble this season – reaching the Europa League group phase, winning a major trophy and earning a new contract at Ibrox.

Is it too much to ask? Not if you listen to the adaptable
27-year-old who is one of the few Mark Warburton old guard to have survived since Steven Gerrard swept into town.

Halliday offered another glaring example on Thursday night that he can comfortably play at left-back as Rangers defeated Progres Niederkorn 2-0.

He was one of the better performers on a night when Rangers should have killed the second qualifying round tie but, instead, now return to the scene of their most embarrassing European defeat next week with a little bit of work to do.

It does seem unthinkable that they could succumb to the Luxembourg side for a second time and therefore will march on to face Danish side Midtjylland in their quest to reach the group stage for the second season running.

Rangers will warm up for Luxembourg with their final pre-season friendly against Derby County tomorrow when Halliday is liable to be rested.

He said: “I think we can cope with Midtjylland, if we get through.

“I think we showed last season that we can cope as we went through the campaign.

“We have Progres to deal with first and after the result we had in Luxembourg two years ago we need to put that right.

“But when the draw came out, I started to study Midtjylland.

“They’ve played in the Europa League for a few years now so I’m sure they’re a very good team. They’ve certainly got a good pedigree and they won the Danish Cup last 
season.

“We will look at that when the time comes.

“We want to do well in every competition we’re involved in.

“Our priority is medals and silverware but we want to get to the group stage of the Europa League.

“Of course, it will mean up to 60 games and you can’t underestimate that.

“I think the gaffer said at the end of last season that we needed more depth because you can’t play all of these games.

“I think we are prepared to handle that this year.

“If you look back at the games last season, we had some really tough ones.

“The Maribor game was a really difficult test. They were a very good team and we were backs to the wall for the majority of that match but we had done enough at Ibrox.

“Look at the Ufa game too – that was the hardest 90 minutes of my career as we were down to nine men for 60 minutes. That was no mean feat and it certainly is difficult to get to the group phase but ultimately that is our goal.

“We need to be doing well 
in Europe on a regular basis. So, if we can get there again then it’s another good step forward.”

It is a huge season for Halliday on so many levels. He is the boyhood Rangers fan who is still trying to win over sections of the support and earn a new deal at the same time.

He said: “If I have the same 12 months as I had in the last 12 months then I’m confident I can extend my stay at Rangers.

“But you’re fighting for your career every week at Rangers. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got three years left or 12 months. There are guys who have longer deals than me that are in that boat.

“But I’m happy with where I am at the moment and, hopefully, I can stay longer.

“I feel as if I’m out to prove people wrong every single week.

“I was released by Rangers when I was 16 so I have been trying to prove people wrong since I came back at 24.

“I don’t think that will change. I’m sure there are fans that still think I’m not good enough to play for Rangers and others that think I’m a very good player.

“If I have the consistency I’ve had in the last year then there will be more of the latter.

“When I was 14 people used to say the same about Barry Ferguson – he was a fan playing for the club.

“But he went on to win 60 caps for his country and countless medals.”