Burke desperate to fight way back into Rangers side

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The Independent Football

The Rangers winger Chris Burke is determined to prove he is not yesterday's man at Ibrox after a frustrating start to the season. The 23-year-old featured regularly last season but has made just one appearance this campaign and has been the most obvious fall guy following the club's squad strengthening.

Manager Walter Smith brought in 12 new players during the summer and Burke has lost his place as a result, with the likes of DaMarcus Beasley and Steven Whittaker keeping him out of the team. Full-back Alan Hutton's raids down the right flank have compensated for the loss of Burke's flair on the wing, and the twice-capped Scotland international may face more weeks of frustration before he gets another first-team chance.

"The manager has brought in a lot of players and for me it's been difficult to get in the side," Burke said. "I'm happy to fight for my place, I just have to impress everybody in training and improve my game. When I get my chance, and hopefully I will, I will need to take it."

Burke signed a new deal in January, keeping him at Rangers until 2009. He had been linked with a move to Aston Villa at the time, but Smith, who had taken charge at Rangers earlier in the month, was convinced Burke was a top prospect and well worth keeping.

Smith has more options now, meaning Burke is unlikely to play in next week's Champions League group game away to Stuttgart.

Burke explained: "It is frustrating. I played in the Champions League and they are massive games. To be left out of the squad is hard. It is disappointing as a football player because all you want to do is play, to play on the big stage."

Amdy Faye finds himself in similar circumstances to Burke, albeit the loan signing from Charlton has been slightly more active: he has made five appearances. The Senegal central midfielder is desperate to play more often.

Faye, 30, said: "It's good to be at Rangers, but I need to play, you know. I came here to play."