Thompson welcomes challenge of new Rangers' striking partner

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The Independent Football

A new striker may be at the top of the Rangers manager Alex McLeish's summer shopping list but Steven Thompson has no fears about losing his place.

A new striker may be at the top of the Rangers manager Alex McLeish's summer shopping list but Steven Thompson has no fears about losing his place.

Thompson has recently returned from a lengthy spell out with a knee injury and is still trying to regain his match sharpness. But he did his chances of remaining in McLeish's plans no harm when he scored the only goal against Celtic two weeks ago.

With Michael Mols set to leave in the summer and Ronald de Boer still weighing up his future, McLeish knows supporters are desperate for him to bring a striker to the club who can solve their goalscoring problems.

But striker Thompson insists any new arrivals will not affect his own place. "I think it's great news that the manager wants to bring another striker to the club. Michael Mols is leaving at the end of the season and Ronald de Boer might be leaving and the club really needs the competition for places.

"Every Rangers fan wants to see a new striker here and it would be great for the club if that happened. I offer something that's different to the other strikers and I think the manager will be looking for a different type of player to myself. I'm confident that I can stay in the team."

One of the few highlights this season has been the emergence of young players like Chris Burke and Alan Hutton but Thompson believes their skills need to be complemented by experience.

The former Minister of State for Scotland, George Foulkes, will take over as chairman of Hearts with immediate effect. The appointment of the Member of Parliament comes in the wake of Doug Smith's decision to resign from the Tynecastle club.

Foulkes, a former Under-Secretary of State for international development, has been a Hearts supporter for more than 20 years. Smith took over as chairman in 1999 and speculation that he was set to quit the board intensified on Monday following a board meeting at Tynecastle.

His decision to leave the Edinburgh club comes at a time when the board have found themselves under increasing pressure from a section of the Hearts supporters following plans to sell Tynecastle and take up tenancy at Murrayfield from next season.

The main target for the fans' frustrations is the chief executive Chris Robinson, who has been the biggest backer of the proposed move to the home of Scottish rugby.

Supporters will now watch with interest to see what impact, if any, the appointment of Foulkes will have on the club's plans to relocate in the summer.

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