LIVINGSTON defender Craig Halkett admits he will have revenge on his mind when he returns to Ibrox for the first time since being told he was not good enough for Rangers.
The 23-year-old centre-back had dreams of starring for his boyhood heroes after making his way up through the Light Blues’ youth ranks.
But they were crushed back in January 2016 when he was told former boss Mark Warburton had decided he was not cut out for the Gers first team.
Halkett refused to let that setback derail his career and has gone on to become a key figure for Livi, helping them claim back-to-back promotions as they battled against the odds to clinch a Ladbrokes Premiership slot.
He has already tasted the sweet satisfaction of victory over his old side when Gary Holt’s shock-troops stunned Steven Gerrard’s new-look Gers two months ago with a 1-0 upset at the Tony Macaroni Arena.
Now he wants to ram home the message to those who decided he was dispensable by repeating the act in Govan this weekend.
He said: “I think Saturday will be totally different to the game here. There will be obviously 50,000 fans there for the game at Ibrox and they are in really good form at home.
“So it will be a very different challenge for us but we’re looking forward to it.
“It will be the first time I’ve been back at Ibrox since I left so I suppose the game has a wee bit more meaning for myself.
“I don’t really know many of the boys that are still there now, so from that point of view I’m not really that bothered, but I am looking forward to testing myself again in that environment.
“It’s just part of life in football that when you go to a club, if you don’t do well you move on. That was the case with myself and Rangers. I was getting older and I wanted to play first-team football and Livingston gave me the perfect opportunity to do that. I’ve not looked back since.
“In the back of my mind will be the thought that I want to prove a few people wrong and make them realise that they should have kept me at the club, but I’m just going out to focus on my job for Livingston.”
So impressive has Halkett been for the Lions this term that there have already been reports suggesting Gerrard is considering offering him a return to Rangers.
But the defender said: “I’ve not paid attention to any of that at all. I tend not to look at things like that, I just want to concentrate on my own game.
“It is flattering, of course. I’ve got pals who are Rangers fans asking me if it’s true but I have to tell them I’ve not paid it any notice.”