ANDY HALLIDAY admits he can’t complain about being out of the Rangers team in recent weeks with the Light Blues enjoying an impressive winning run.
Steven Gerrard’s men will be looking to end the 2018/19 campaign on a high at Rugby Park on Sunday and a victory over Kilmarnock would make it seven on the bounce since the 2-1 defeat to Celtic at Parkhead on March 31.
On that occasion in Glasgow’s east end, Halliday was named in his manager’s starting XI but saw red after the final whistle as the home team celebrated.
Andy has struggled to get game time since with Jon Flanagan returning to action and performing impressively, but he has been pleased to see his teammates go on a positive run of results.
Halliday, speaking at this afternoon’s pre-match press conference at the Hummel Training Centre, said: “It’s certainly not been easy but it makes it a lot easier when the team are doing very well and picking up results.
“As a football player at a massive football club the club always comes first and you just need to try and get back in the fold. But I’m more than happy that we have managed to put this run of wins together.
“I think you are playing for your future every single week and it’s as simple as that. Every game at this football club is a big game and you’re expected to win them all. The way I see it is you are playing for your future all the time.
“I think it’s the exact same for every single player.
“It’s obvious that we are going to strengthen in the summer and bring in more additions, but at the end of the day it’s all to help us achieve our target and goal of going for the league title next year.
“With regards to myself I don’t personally see [last summer] as much different to this year.
“There have been a lot of occasions where I’ve had to bide my time and sit on the sidelines and wait for my chance.
“Ultimately, it’s up to me when I get that chance that I try and take it. I think I’ve done quite well at that this year.”
Halliday looks back at his sending off at Celtic Park with frustration but has praised Flanagan for the way he has taken his chance to return to the team.
He said: “Obviously I was in the team at that point and I felt I was doing well.
“Since then it’s been very hard to get back in, but it’s hard to argue with the manager’s decision, especially with Flanno going into that position and he has done so well for himself having been out for a long period of time.
All credit to Flanno because when he was out he never complained, he never sulked. He just got on with his business every single day and when he got his chance he took it.”
Halliday is confident Rangers can build on the progress that has been made this season and push for the Premiership title in 2019/20.
He added: “A hundred percent yes. I think it’s the first time in a long time I’m going into the summer really excited to start again next year.
“The progress has been there for all to see and I think even behind the scenes there has been lot of progress that maybe the outside world don’t quite see.
“It’s well documented the changes we have made to the training ground but I think overall, in terms of the mentality of the playing squad, we’ve brought in a lot of experienced players, a lot of leaders, and overall it’s a better environment around the place.”
If the Light Blues can win in Ayrshire on Sunday they would be the first Rangers team to win all all five post-split games since the split was introduced in 2000/01, but Halliday expects another tough battle with Killie.
Steve Clarke’s side and Aberdeen are currently level with 64 points from 37 games, but the Dons travel to Easter Road on Sunday knowing they must better Killie’s result against Rangers at Rugby Park if they are to finish in third place.
Halliday said: “We have never made a clean sweep in the top six and it’s a pretty good record to try and chase.
“We’ve had many great Rangers teams in the past that have not managed to achieve that, so it’s a good incentive for us to go into the game and try and get a result.
“But we have faced Kilmarnock many times this year and we know they are a tough outfit. They have got a very good manager in Steve Clarke who deservedly won manager of the year, so it is going to be a difficult game but it’s one that I am confident we can win.”