Ferguson delighted with Rangers move

Northern Ireland's Shane Ferguson tussles with Israel's Yuvai Shpungin, during their World Cup Qualifier. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye
Northern Ireland's Shane Ferguson tussles with Israel's Yuvai Shpungin, during their World Cup Qualifier. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye

Northern Ireland international Shane Ferguson is thrilled to have joined Rangers.

The talented winger, who along with four Newcastle United team-mates have been loaned to the Ibrox men until the end of the season, conceded he’s over the moon with the move to the Glasgow giants, however he wouldn’t be available for selection as he continues to recover from a knee injury.

“It’s going to be another few weeks before I get up to Glasgow but I can’t wait to get started,” said Ferguson.

“Three of the lads went straight away and did their press conference and trained with the team but I have to bide my time.

“I’m almost back to full training and as soon as I am completely fit I will be in Scotland and hopefully I can help Rangers win promotion back to the top flight of Scottish football.

“Everyone knows Rangers are a huge club. OK, the last few years have been tough for everyone at the club and the fans who have stuck by them but I am excited about playing for such a big club.

“The last three months have been frustrating after I picked up a knee injury in training.

“This is an opportunity for me to go and get games as soon as I am fit and nothing would make me happier than being part of the side that took Rangers back to where they should be in Scottish football.

“They are second in the league and have a bit of ground to make up on Hearts but it is a challenge that I am relishing and I know the other lads feel exactly the same.

“I’ve never been in this situation before. When I spent time on loan at Birmingham it was never a case of us challenging for promotion so there is a lot riding on the last few months of the season.”

Although a few eyebrows were raised that he made his move to the Gers on deadline day, but for the 23-year-old he just wants to play football.

“My family have always been very supportive of everything I have wanted to do in my career – and a move to Rangers is no different,” he admitted.

“The decision was mine to make and nothing entered my mind other than football. I am a footballer and that is all that matters.

“I know a few people hiding behind a computer have had a pop at me but all I want to do is play football and Rangers are giving me that opportunity.

“People can say what they want but I am happy to be signing for Rangers.

“I have to say almost all the comments I’ve received from people back home and in Scotland have been really positive.

“That means a lot to me and, of course, there has been a bit of banter with my mates back home, too.

“I have a lot of friends who are Celtic fans but I have lots who support Rangers, too, so I’m sure the stick will be flying for a while yet.”

The Eglinton man also confirmed that he took advice from Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill prior to his move.

“The first I heard about Rangers being an option was on Sunday night. The five of us got a call and were told to go and have a think about it,” he added.

“After I decided it was definitely something I wanted to do, it all happened pretty quickly.

“With the Scottish transfer window shutting at midnight, I knew the move had to happen that day even though I wouldn’t be going there straight away.

“I just can’t wait to get there. I already know Dean Shiels from playing with him for Northern Ireland but I didn’t speak to many people before signing.

“Michael O’Neill had heard about the move and I spoke to him and his advice confirmed what I was already thinking about going.

“There were a few rumours doing the rounds about me not signing but that was never the case. I knew it was a good move for me and that was that.

“I have actually played at Ibrox for Newcastle in a summer friendly and had to mark Kyle Lafferty when I came on.

“The atmosphere was incredible for that game so I can’t wait to experience it when those fans are behind you. I am really excited about playing there.”

Ferguson, who still has 18 months remaining on his contract with the Toon Army, believes the next few months could be something special.

“The next six months are massive. I want to help Rangers win the league and, of course, helping Northern Ireland qualify for Euro 2016 has been on my mind.

“I want to be as sharp as I possibly can be by the time our next games comes around in March and if I am playing regularly for Rangers that is brilliant.

“I wouldn’t want to harm our chances of playing when I’m not at my best but this move will definitely help that.”