HAVING had his first, live taste of Mark Warburton’s Rangers on Thursday, Niko Kranjcar reckons the team’s style of play suits him down to a tee.
The Croatian international missed out the friendly match with Charleston Battery as he battles for fitness ahead of the new season, but he was mightily impressed with what he saw as he also discussed his aims to be ready for action as quickly as possible.
He explained: “It’s the way I personally believe football should be played – playing out from the back, passing the ball through the lines, being brave on the ball and getting into areas where you believe with your quality you are going to keep hold of it.
“So I was really impressed and I really hope I can help the team improve with the qualities I have. At this point, I would just love to be involved. You miss the ball when you have been injured and it has been great for me to join in full training.
“It’s been great time though. It’s been a lot of hard work in really extreme conditions, and the heat and humidity was really unbearable at times, but we got everything we had to do done, and hopefully, and I believe, we will benefit from it.
“The main thing for me is I don’t feel any pain in the quad muscle. That has fully healed and I am really comfortable joining in the full sessions. It will still be a couple of weeks before I am back to being fully match fit, but it is a joy and a thrill that I can do every exercise with the rest of the squad and it’s been a great 10 days for me.
“It’s a great bunch of guys who really push each other to do better in every single exercise. It’s a great environment to play football in and I have really enjoyed my time here since I have come in.
“I would love to have been fit by yesterday’s game, but the physio and the manager will decide when and how much game time is best for me to be ready for the kick-off to the season to make sure I can make it through the full year hopefully injury-free.”
Rangers were backed by a typically huge support at the MUSC Health Stadium on Thursday, but the level of backing didn’t shock Kranjcar one iota.
He added: “No. I said it when I came here – nobody needs to explain to me what Rangers means. Believe me, everyone I know who is involved in football knows how big a club Rangers are and how big a support they have, so it was no surprise for me.”