Naismith signs new Rangers deal

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The Independent Football

Steven Naismith has handed Rangers a boost by signing a new deal, the club has confirmed.

The midfielder, 24, has penned a contract extension which keeps him at Ibrox until May 2015.

Naismith had 18 months left on his current deal but has agreed to extend his stay with the Scottish champions further.

Rangers were keen to secure Naismith longer-term and the player agreed conditions with the club yesterday.

He signed from Kilmarnock on transfer deadline day in the summer of 2007 in a deal worth £2million.

Naismith saw the early part of his Rangers career blighted by injury but has impressed boss Walter Smith with his performances this season.

He scored the winner against Bursaspor in the Champions League at Ibrox and also found the back of the net for Scotland against world champions Spain.

The news of Naismith's new deal was welcomed by assistant boss Ally McCoist.

He said: "I'm absolutely thrilled. Steven is a great kid and he has come on in leaps and bounds.

"It's a real boost that he's decided to extend his contract.

"He had a tough time when he came here and got a serious injury but he's a great worker.

"I'm delighted he's signed the contract and is playing so well."

Naismith has now urged team-mates who are in contract talks, such as Sasa Papac and Kenny Miller, to follow his lead.

He told "We've got a great squad here. I'm happy to sign for the long term and hopefully now a few of the other boys do as well.

"I definitely hope that's the case. I couldn't ask for a better group of players to work with and everybody wants to fight for each other.

"That has probably been the key to our success over the last few years and I'm hoping there are many more who follow in my footsteps and sign.

"It's good just to finally get my situation all sorted out. We didn't speak that long about it and there was never any doubt I'd sign.

"It was simply a case of getting all the small print sorted out before I signed and I'm delighted to be here."