FOOTBALL: Advocaat advocates new Negri attitude

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The Independent Online
THE RANGERS manager, Dick Advocaat, has warned the unsettled Italian striker Marco Negri he faces the prospect of becoming a forgotten talent unless he regains his desire for the game.

The Dutchman has been less than impressed by Negri's attitude, which has seen him fail to kick a ball this season, partly through injury, but mostly because of a marked unhappiness at remaining at Ibrox.

Advocaat has warned the player that his only escape route is to illustrate to would-be buyers that the goalscoring ability which reaped 36 goals for Rangers last season has not diminished.

The only strike action seen from the front man in recent times has been of the industrial variety and only now has he retreated from his long- standing stance of refusing to play for the club again.

But for Advocaat that eventual change of heart hardly means Negri, priced at pounds 3.5m by Rangers, can return instantly to the fold because of the length of time he has been out of the game. There is no place for Negri in the squad to face Motherwell at Fir Park today, nor is there likely to be in the immediate future such is his lack of sharpness after five months on the sidelines.

Negri, however, has a groin injury which may hold up his return, but Advocaat's reluctance to expand on the issue yesterday indicates how much he still needs to be persuaded.

He said: "Marco is injured but hopefully he can train next week again. Whether he plays for us again is a matter for him, but it is important he does or nobody will know of him anymore. We have done everything to get Marco back playing and now he has to give a sign that he wants to come back and show he can still perform."

Advocaat welcomes back the captain Lorenzo Amoruso for the visit to Motherwell. The Italian defender will displace his deputy for the last two matches, the centre-half Scott Wilson.

Motherwell will award debuts to new recruits John Spencer, on loan from Everton, and Ged Brannan, a pounds 350,000 capture from Manchester City.