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INTERVIEW: Kris Boyd on striker conundrum for Rangers boss Steven Gerrard, charity fundraising and half-marathon training

© Andrew CawleyFormer Rangers and Kilmarnock star Kris Boyd training for a charity run
Former Rangers and Kilmarnock star Kris Boyd training for a charity run

Speculation is rife right now over the future of Alfredo Morelos.

Qatar outfit, Al-Duhail, are the latest to be linked with the Rangers striker, with Newcastle United also believed to be keen on the Colombian.

But even if Morelos stays put, former Ibrox hitman Kris Boyd reckons the Light Blues need to sign a striker before the start of the season to push Morelos and Jermain Defoe.

And if it is decided to cash in on Morelos and sell, Boyd believes Steven Gerrard will need to recruit a replacement that will make Scottish football sit up straight.

The 36-year-old former Gers and Scotland striker told The Sunday Post: “I think Rangers need two players, not squad players but ready to go in and make an impact at top-team level.

“And depending on what happens with Morelos, it could well be they will also need a striker of the highest calibre, a No. 9 with the ‘wow’ factor.

“They will need a player who will really excite the Rangers supporters and make them believe that he can help the team win the league.

“As big a name as possible, and someone with a solid track record.

“Of course, they are not easy to find and rarely come cheaply. And just about every club is in the market for a striker.

“If Morelos stays, I understand Rangers being linked with strikers such as Lyle Taylor of Charlton and Livingston’s Lyndon Dykes.

© Shutterstock / SNS Group
Lyle Taylor (left) and Lyndon Dykes have both been linked with Rangers

“They have both caught the eye in recent times, and I’m sure they would be good additions. They have different qualities and both know the way to goal.

“But I wonder if either is good enough to be lined up as a direct replacement for Morelos, with an expectation of scoring in excess of 20 goals a season.

“And it would be unfair to pile too much pressure on either of their shoulders.

“Jermain Defoe will play a big part for the team in the coming campaign.

“But I think it would be unfair to ask him to start 40 or 45 games, and look for him to perform at the highest level twice-a-week for 90 minutes.

“He is 37 now and it could well be that most of his work in the coming season will be from coming off the bench.”

© Ross MacDonald / SNS Group
Rangers’ Alfredo Morelos (left) and team mate Jermain Defoe in training earlier this season

When Boyd joined Rangers from Kilmarnock in a £400,000 transfer in January, 2006, Alex McLeish had Dado Prso as his No. 9.

Boyd had to be patient, but finished the season as top scorer at Ibrox. He was top scorer for Kilmarnock that season too.

He recalled: “I wore the No. 15 jersey at first. I had to bide my time, learn and earn the right.

“Dado was the man in possession and worthy of the jersey.

“But I was confident I would score goals for Rangers, and I did. And then I was given the chance to be the No. 9 – it was what dreams are made of.

“Rangers will never be short of players wanting to sign for the club and wanting to be the main striker. But they need to be good enough.

“The coming season is massive, and that’s why they need to get it right on all fronts. There is no margin for error in the title race.”

Steven Gerrard’s side had the mark of champions in the first half of the season, ending that spell with a 2-1 win at Celtic Park.

But they collapsed after the winter break, a situation which concerned the manager.

Boyd said: “I don’t think anyone could have predicted what came from January onwards. It was very strange.

“That said, it wasn’t all about Rangers dropping points.

“Celtic played very well after the winter break, and they looked as though they were going to take some stopping. So you need to give Neil Lennon and his players credit for that.

“Rangers will have to get into a rhythm as quickly as possible in the new season.

“I’m sure Steven Gerrard will be hammering home the point about having a strong mentality, and not dropping points in games they should be winning.”

© Andrew Cawley
Boyd hits the streets ahead of the half-marathon

Boyd may have hung up his boots this time last year, but – like the Premiership clubs – he is in serious training right now.

He is preparing for a half-marathon on Saturday to raise money for motor neurone disease and his own mental health charity.

Boyd said: “As everyone knows, I was never one for doing much running on the park during my career. But I’ve changed!

“I really wanted to push and challenge myself, and that’s why I’m going to run 13 miles next weekend.

“I’ve never covered that distance in my life as jogging has never been something I was into.

“I’ve been out a few times in the past week, and my body is full of aches and pains. But this is for two brilliant causes, and I want to do my bit to try to give something back.

“The people of Scotland, especially in Ayrshire, have been very generous and extremely supportive of the Kris Boyd Charity.

“We need to keep fundraising to allow us to help people with mental health issues.

“I’m also hoping to raise money for the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation. MND is a horrible illness and takes people too quickly.

“My old Rangers team-mate, Fernando Ricksen, battled it and it wasn’t pleasant watching what he had to go through. So it’s close to my heart.

“I’ll be running from Ayr United’s Somerset Park to Kilmarnock’s Rugby Park.

“I’ll need a wee bit of help along the way, so if anyone wants to join me for part of the way, they are more than welcome, whether it’s to run alongside me, supply an oxygen mask, a bottle of water – or a pie!

“I won’t knock back anything!

“I’ve set up a JustGiving page, so if you can spare a pound or two that would be brilliant and greatly appreciated.”


You can donate at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kris-boyd-charity