Jeffers out to impress Rangers and press for permanent move

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The Independent Football

Today, as Scotland's leading clubs welcome a posse of midweek international heroes back to domestic duty, Jeffers, who has just arrived on a four-month loan at Rangers from Charlton, will make his Scottish Premier League debut still waiting for his own big-time ambitions to be realised.

His one England appearance to date was back in February 2003, when he scored a consolation goal in an ignominious friendly defeat to Australia.

His post-Everton club career, at Highbury and then at The Valley, has been less than spectacular.

Now, as the 24-year-old awaits his first Rangers start this afternoon, at Falkirk, he is already hoping for a permanent move to Ibrox to relaunch his career.

"I know the club have been looking for an out-and-out goalscorer and hopefully I can fit the bill," he said. "If I do the business here maybe we could sort out a deal in January. That would be ideal."

Rangers, who begin their Champions' League campaign against Porto next week, have made a stuttering start in defence of their domestic title, and lie fifth in the table this morning, six points behind the leaders, Hearts.

Jeffers is one of three transfer-window signings brought in to revitalise their fortunes although neither of the others - the Italian striker Fillipo Maniero or the French full-back Olivier Bernard - are expected to play today because of lack of match fitness.

While Rangers had one representative, Barry Ferguson, in Scotland's victorious side in Norway in midweek, Hearts had four. The form of the goalkeeper Craig Gordon, centre-halves Steven Pressley and Andy Webster, and playmaker, Paul Hartley, have been key for club and country, and the quartet are all expected to feature as Hearts look for a sixth consecutive league win of the season when they travel to bottom-placed Livingston tomorrow.

Hearts have also strengthened in the transfer window by signing the Senegalese right-back, Ibrahim Tall, and a Brazilian defensive midfielder, Samuel Camazzola.

Celtic, who lie second behind Hearts, five points off the pace, host Aberdeen today with a plethora of striking options. Maciej Zurawski scored in midweek for Poland against Wales, who were without his suspended club-mate, John Hartson, who will be fresher today as a result. Craig Beattie, who has already scored three times as a substitute for Celtic this season, will also be on a high after playing a role for Scotland in midweek. Celtic's new Chinese defender, Du Wei, is also in today's squad.

Two Northern Ireland players who helped to humiliate England on Wednesday, Motherwell's Stephen Craigan and Hibernian's Ivan Sproule, can anticipate contrasting returns to club action. Craigan should start for Motherwell at Inverness but Sproule, who scored a hat-trick at Rangers a fortnight ago, has been told he might have to settle for a place on the bench at home to Dundee United.