Bittersweet for Rangers’ Glen Kamara with muted celebration of first goal

In his solitary appearance for Arsenal, in six outings each during loan spells at Southend United and Colchester United, then in 65 games for Dundee, Glen Kamara was a stranger to the greatest thrill any footballer can experience.

Glen Kamara scores Rangers' first goal against Dundee. Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire

But when the moment finally arrived and he scored his first senior club goal on Wednesday night, in only his fourth appearance for Rangers, the midfielder admits he wasn’t able to savour it as much as he would have liked.

Kamara remains indebted to the platform provided to him by Dundee to develop a career which was uncertain following his release by Arsenal in the summer of 2017 after five years in their academy 

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By the endless ironies of football, the 23-year-old almost inevitably broke that scoring duck against the Dens Park club, who sanctioned his £50,000 deadline day move to Rangers last month after he had previously agreed a pre-contract deal to join Steven Gerrard’s squad in the 

“I was delighted to score my first goal for Rangers but it was bittersweet to do it against my old team,” said Kamara.

“That’s why I didn’t really 
celebrate it, out of respect to Dundee. My time there was good, I really enjoyed it, so it was just a bit of respect.”

Kamara, whose only other goal in professional football came on the international stage in Finland’s 2-0 Nations League win over Greece last October, has made a hugely impressive start to his time at Rangers.

His composed and precise first-time finish which opened the scoring in the 4-0 league win over Dundee certainly suggested he should be capable of adding goals to his other attributes on a regular basis.

“It was my first goal in 82 games in club football, so I did enjoy it from that point of view,” he added. “It was a good finish and I’m really enjoying it at Rangers. I feel I’ve settled in quite well. The manager has helped me and allowed me to express myself and it helps when the team is as good as it is.”

Kamara was pulled aside along with midfield partner Ryan Jack by Gerrard at full-time on Wednesday, the Rangers boss outlining the role he felt they should have played in preventing what he saw as an unacceptable drop in performance level in the second half.

“The manager just told me and Ryan that we need to manage the game better than we did in the second half,” said Kamara. “We were sloppy both individually and collectively in the second half so we need to improve on that. It’s sometimes hard when you’re 3-0 up at half-time but we have to keep our standards up.

“You get more of a mixed reaction from the fans here. They expect you to be playing well and at the top every single time. When you drop off in a game, you can feel the fans and that it gets edgy. That’s something I will have to get used to but I’m confident I can deal with it. I just have to play my game.”

As Kamara develops his attacking instincts at Rangers, he revealed he is being mentored by veteran striker Jermain Defoe, who came off the bench to score the fourth goal against Dundee.

“I have probably become closest to Jermain at the club so far,” added Kamara. “He has been there and done it all, just like the manager, so to play with him and take his advice on board is 

“He’s told me just to go out there, play, enjoy it and always try to play forward 
when I can.”