Lafferty targets key role

Striker wants Euro action

Lafferty: Desperate to play

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Kyle Lafferty is hoping to play a crucial role in what could be Rangers' most important game of the season.

The Northern Ireland international has seen the start of his Gers career wrecked by a back injury picked up during a pre-season trip to Germany, but is now back to full fitness and ready for a return to action.

The former Burnley striker is desperate to force his way into Walter Smith's plans and make a positive impression ahead of the new season.

A UEFA Champions League qualifier against FBK Kaunas on Tuesday could provide him with the ideal opportunity in which to prove his point to the boss.

"It was frustrating watching the lads play and being over in Germany and not being able to train or do anything," he said.

"But I'm fit now and just raring to go. It's up to the gaffer whether I play or not but hopefully I'll be involved at some stage.

"If I'm involved, it's a big game to make my debut in and I would be delighted."

The 20-year-old is vying for a first-team role with Nacho Novo, Kris Boyd, Jean-Claude Darcheville and Daniel Cousin, but accepts that there must be competition for places at top clubs.

"There are a lot of strikers and I'm going to have to work even harder than I did at my old club but I'm looking forward to it," he added.

Problems

Rangers head into their European showdown in Lithuania in the knowledge that they were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw in the first leg at Ibrox last week.

That means that their dreams of continuing their continental adventure this season rest on Tuesday's encounter.

The losers will not be afforded the safety net of a route into the Uefa Cup, and Lafferty is well aware of what it is stake.

"You can see that we are playing the best football that we can," he said.

"The games are here now and we just have to put things right on Tuesday night.

"It's a big game for the club, especially after the draw at home, and we just have to go out and win the game.

"It's definitely a big game for us and hopefully we can go out and do a job. They caused us a few problems at Ibrox but we have players in the team who can win the game."