With three goals in his last three appearances, Harry Forrester is flavour of the month as far as Rangers supporters are concerned.
But as the livewire attacking midfielder prepares to try and continue his hot streak at Ibrox tonight, he admits it was no surprise that his arrival at the club was not initially to everyone’s taste.
“I fully understand why some fans were thinking ‘why are we signing him?’,” said Forrester, who penned a six-month contract at Rangers in January following his release by Doncaster Rovers.
“From an outsider’s point of view, they would see I couldn’t get in the Doncaster team when they were down near the bottom of League One in England. So they say ‘what is he going to do for us?’.
“But there were a lot of factors why I didn’t play at Doncaster and sometimes that happens in football. You are not fancied by one manager and another manager feels they can get the best out of you elsewhere.
“It always helps that the fans are warming to me now and it’s good to have them on my side. My first goal against St Mirren a couple of weeks ago helped me and it’s just gone from there. It gave me a bit of breathing space and I’ve kicked on, along with the team.”
Forrester, 25, has been assisted by his relationship with Rangers manager Mark Warburton, having previously worked under him at Brentford.
“He knows me as a person but I have always been keen to impress and sometimes you can be a bit too keen,” added Forrester. “From day one here, he told me just to go out and play. But it was about time the goals started going in for me.”
As Rangers close in on the Championship title, with the chance to go 15 points clear at the top of the table if they beat Morton this evening, Forrester has placed thoughts of his own future on the back burner. The former England youth international is hopeful of earning a new deal beyond the summer but is happy to focus on Rangers’ immediate goals, both in pursuit of promotion and success in the Scottish Cup where they face Celtic in next month’s semi-final.
“There has been no conversation yet about a contract,” said Forrester. “I have just got myself into the team here and I’m now getting back to the performance levels I feel I should be at.
“I have not played a great deal of football this season so I am just happy playing again. I love playing at Ibrox, the fans have warmed to me in the last couple of weeks and I am enjoying every moment of it.
“I want to stay for longer. But it is not up to me, it is up to the football club. In my first six months here, if I could win the league, play in an Old Firm game and see where we go, there are not many better starts. We will see what happens at the end of the season. I am just focusing on the next game. I have just started getting in the team so that is what I want to continue to do.
“We are all excited about the Celtic cup tie but we have to concentrate on Friday night first and foremost. We had a little word about it after the draw was made, but now it’s all about Morton.”
If Forrester does have a longer term future with Rangers, last Saturday’s 4-0 Scottish Cup demolition of Premiership opponents Dundee – which he sparked with his goal after just 13 seconds – has encouraged him about their prospects of success if they are back in the top flight.
“I wouldn’t say it was an easy win against Dundee but we played really well and we know they are a good Premiership side,” he said. “The start we got helped settle us down and from the first whistle, they were on the back foot. We were mentally ready, chomping at the bit. It was a lovely occasion and a great result.
“We are playing good football at the moment, we are confident and 12 points clear at the top. Next year, I’m sure the gaffer will have his own ideas of about what we need to do. But there is no reason why we can’t kick on again.”