FRESH from beating his injury blues, Jamie Murphy has targeted a return to first-team action, though he knows simply returning as the same player he was before may not be enough.

Murphy has been hard at work in the Portuguese sunshine with the rest of his Rangers teammates after overcoming the serious knee injury which saw him miss the vast majority of last season.

He knows he might face a wait to find his full match sharpness again, but he has pledged to do everything he can to get it back as soon as he can.

Speaking exclusively to RangersTV in the Algarve, he said: “I hope the manager knows what I am capable of. I know I had a good pre-season last year and a couple of games before I got injured.

“But it is up to me to impress them again. If you stay at the same level, I don’t think you are going to keep up at Rangers.

“It is about me trying to improve and get better every day. It might take a couple of weeks or it might take a couple of months.

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“I am prepared to work hard to try and get back to where it was and improve on that.”

Murphy has been heartened by seeking examples of other players to have suffered similar ligament damage to him, continuing: “You look at certain players that have done it. A lot of them have come back better, though there are a lot of them who haven’t come back.

“You have always got to think of that in your head and you always have to work hard every day so that doesn’t happen.

“I’ve got to be in the gym before training every day and do some activation before we start – just little, different things that I maybe wouldn’t have had to do before.

“I am fully aware I have to do all that now so I can keep my career going as long as possible.

“I can’t wait [to be back involved]. We improved last year, and while we still never reached where we wanted to, improving is important.

“This year hopefully we can improve again and take that last step. We have a great squad here and everyone wants the same thing.”

It’s less than a fortnight until Rangers return to European action against either St Joseph’s of Gibraltar or Prishtina of Kosovo.

Murphy played in a number of qualifying matches in last season’s Europa League, but is desperate to ensure, if they make it, he is lining up with Gers in the competition proper this season.

He added: “Playing in Europe is something I have always enjoyed, whether that be at Motherwell or here at Rangers.

“It is an exciting time for the fans too – the fans get excited by European games and players do as well.

“We want to go as far as we possibly can.”

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