Motherwell 0 Rangers 1: Lovenkrands keeps Gers' revival on track

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The Independent Online

Rangers manager Alex McLeish watched Peter Lovenkrands secure the win against Motherwell and admitted is determined to see him remain at Ibrox beyond the summer. But he fears he could lose him to a team on the Continent instead.

The Denmark international is out of contract at the end of the season and has found himself in demand as a results of the goals he has scored over the last couple of weeks. He grabbed the only goal of the game against Motherwell to bring his tally to 10 in his last eight outings and take Rangers to within a point of third-placed Hibernian in the Bank of Scotland Premier League. Birmingham's advances were rebuffed last week and, when asked if he was keen to hold onto Lovenkrands until the end of the campaign, McLeish replied: "Definitely, and beyond if we can.

"The people to ask are the club administration, Martin Bain and Andy Dickson, they are the ones who are dealing with Peter's representatives." But the biggest threat to Lovenkrands penning a new deal could be a temptation to try his luck in warmer climes. McLeish added: "Peter loves life in Glasgow and he loves life at Rangers and I think he would love to stay. "But you never know. His contract is up in the summer and he could call the shots. There might be something out there he is willing to try. "He told me before he fancied Spain at some stage but you never know."

Lovenkrands struck with 55 minutes on the clock to secure all three points against Motherwell, before injury forced him out of the game with 20 minutes to go. Despite being carried off, McLeish has assured concerned fans there is nothing to worry about. "I don't think it's too bad," he said. "The nerve in the muscle was a bit numb when he was taken off but it has eased off a wee bit. "He seems to be okay and the doctor says he should be alright."

Despite closing the gap on Hibs, McLeish was cautious about their chances of catching Hearts and Celtic in the SPL title race. He said: "We just have to focus on the immediate team above us and just keep winning and hope the other teams drop more points than we do."

Motherwell manager Terry Butcher was impressed by his players' performance against the Scottish champions but admitted he would benefit from strengthening his squad this month. He said: "We have young players on the bench, at 17 and 18, and then you look at the Rangers bench. My God, it was unbelievable.

"If we can get one or two players, without anyone going, that would be ideal." Motherwell take on Celtic next weekend and Butcher has called for more of the same from his players. He added: "In some respects we could probably play worse and win, that's how bizarre the game is at the moment. "But we are going to have to play equally as well as that, if not better, against Celtic next week. Based on what we did today we can look forward to it. "If we can take that sense of injustice into next week then we've got a good chance again."

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