We can match Rangers, says hopeful Little

Fraser McLaren passes Rangers defender Carlos Bocanegra and beats keeper Neil Alexander to draw the home side level'Berwick Rangers v Rangers
Fraser McLaren passes Rangers defender Carlos Bocanegra and beats keeper Neil Alexander to draw the home side level'Berwick Rangers v Rangers

BERWICK manager Ian Little is looking for the same drive and commitment his players have shown in their two previous games against Rangers this season when they meet for a third time on Saturday.

Berwick have already faced their namesakes at Shielfield in August (when they drew 1-1) and at Ibrox in January (when they lost 4-2), but on each occasion they put up a fight and gave a good account of themselves.

“I will be looking for the same sort of performance this time as well.” said Little, whose side lost 2-1 against Queen’s Park at Hampden at the weekend, when they had two players sent off.

“When we faced them down here in August it was 1-1 (Fraser McLaren was the Berwick scorer), but we might have won 2-1 because Chris Townsley had what looked like a perfectly good goal ruled out.

“At Ibrox we were stunned to go 3-0 down, but we showed some character to come back to 3-2 at one stage, and that’s the sort of drive and commitment I will be looking for from the players.”

Little’s selection will be hampered with the suspension of Kevin McDonald and Stevie Notman, who were both sent off at Hampden.

“It’s a set-back, but I don’t think I will have any problem building the other players up for this one,” said Little.

“Players are always up for games like this. We have already shown in the two previous games against Rangers that on our day we are capable of matching them in certain departments. Who knows, with a little bit of luck, it might just be third time lucky this time around.”

Berwick’s leading scorer Darren Lavery is a Rangers fan, but says he will be extra-keen to find the net. Lavery is three goals behind the division’s top marksman - Andrew Little of Rangers - and would love to bag himself at least one to close the gap.

“I will be trying my best,” he said, “but at the end of the day it’s all about the team result and not me as an individual.”

The game against the Glasgow giants is a sell-out with over 4,200 tickets having been sold. Like the last time, it will also be shown live on ESPN TV, which accounts for the noon kick-off time.

Northumbria Police, who will be policing the game, have already indicated that they will be drafting in additional officers as cover.

Director John Bell said: “We have had our capacity increased to 4,500 (an increase of 340) and all the tickets have been sold, which means there should be another tremendous atmosphere inside the ground.

“All the arrangements are exactly the same as for the last game. The police were very happy with the way things worked out in August so there will be no change.”

Rangers fans will be dropped off outside the main entrance to Shielfield. Buses will park on the trading estate and will pick the supporters back up on Shielfield Terrace immediately after the final whistle.