MARK WARBURTON is hopeful fans will get their first glimpse of Joey Barton when Rangers face Annan Athletic at Ibrox on Tuesday.
Barton is a couple of weeks behind the rest of the squad in his preparations for the new season but the boss is hopeful his star signing can make his debut if all goes to plan over the weekend.
Warburton has insisted he will make wholesale changes to his starting XI as he treats the BetFred Cup as part of his side’s pre-season schedule.
The manager said: “We will make changes on Tuesday, about seven and Joey will figure if all goes well training wise so so far so good.
“Joey is working hard, you don’t want to rush any player and it’s the same with any player but if we can get the loading right and we’re happy that half an hour makes good sense on Tuesday then we will do it and hopefully we can.
“I was delighted to get Josh and Niko on and they look very positive, Michael came on and made a good impact on the right hand side and everyone got pitch time.
“We have four games in nine days which isn’t ideal but we have to maximise it, recover well and push forward.”
Niko Kranjcar made a classy debut in the blue jersey, impressing with a cool half an hour display and his manager is touting him to make an impact.
Warburton said: “We have mentioned before that he had 80 odd caps for Croatia but he recognises what he has to do, he recognises the fitness levels that he wants to establish to really make an impact.
“He has the ability to undoubtedly make a real impact on Scottish football so hopefully we can get him into a good position, look after him and he can do his work on the pitch.”
Rangers v Annan Athletic
Tuesday 19 July – Kick Off 7.45pm
Ticket prices for this fixture are £10 for adults & £5 for concessions and juniors
Please note that for both Betfred Cup home games the Club Deck will remain closed. All Bar 72 and MLF season ticket holders will have their smartcards activated as normal for all first team home games.
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