Webster vows to beat injury jinx and kick-start Rangers career

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The Independent Football

Rangers defender Andy Webster has vowed to shut out the sceptics as he bids to return from his latest injury setback. Webster finally looked set to kick-start his Rangers career after captaining Dundee United to Scottish Cup success and making a Scotland comeback during a season-long loan spell at Tannadice.

The centre-back started for Rangers during several pre-season matches but a hamstring injury picked up on the club's trip to Australia has kept him out of all competitive action.

It was the latest in a long line of injury blows to afflict the former Heart of Midlothian player.

The 28-year-old has made just one first-team appearance for Rangers since joining the club from Wigan, initially on loan, in January 2007.

Webster damaged knee ligaments during his first training session at Murray Park and his latest piece of bad luck has seen him written off again in some quarters.

But Webster is determined to erase all negative thoughts and focus on his return to fitness after stepping up his recovery. He said yesterday: "It's up to people how they judge me but nobody likes being injured or spending time on the sidelines.

"I'd much rather be playing in football matches than sitting watching them and not being involved. It's frustrating that that's not the case at the moment but I'm just focusing on making sure I get myself right and ready to play again.

"I spent a lot of last week running with the physios and hopefully that's me getting close to being back and involved with the rest of the boys again."

Webster started 31 games for Dundee United so he is confident his hamstring problem is just a temporary blow.

"I've had a setback at the start of the season but I don't think it's going to disrupt me in the long term and I'm looking forward to getting playing again," he added. "People can think what they want – good, bad or indifferent. They might label me a certain way but that's their prerogative.

"If I listened to what was said about me I might lose focus and that's not what I'm looking to do. When you're getting applause from people, you take it with a pinch of salt and it's exactly the same when things aren't going so well. You deal with it in the same manner.

"I know it would be easy to let my head drop, but the more you think about things and ponder, the more it drives you insane. The most important thing is not to dwell. I've learned to be a bit more patient."

Steven Davis has refuted any suggestions that Manchester United underestimated Rangers and insists the Scottish champions deserve credit for earning a point at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.

Some may point to Sir Alex Ferguson's team selection on the night as one reason for the result, after he made 10 changes from the side that drew with Everton last weekend.

Davis admits the team-sheet did raise a few eyebrows . He said: "I think everybody was surprised when they saw the team. We went over their team before the game and it was a different team that played on the night but they have top, top players no matter who plays for them.

"I don't think they did underestimate us. They have a squad full of international players and we were delighted to get a result against them. We are just happy to come away with the draw. It was a really good team performance defensively and hopefully we can build on that now.

"I think we definitely surprised quite a few people. I don't think anybody really gave us any chance of getting any kind of result here. One through to 11, and the players who came on, everyone did their job and it was a real team effort.

"We frustrated them in the end and we are happy we managed to get the draw."

Celtic defender Daniel Majstorovic is confident his debut season at Parkhead is going to be a success. Celtic have yet to concede a goal following the first four matches of the Scottish Premier League campaign.

Sweden defender Majstorovic has kept seven clean sheets in eight games for club and country this season, although the one black mark was Celtic's 4-0 Europa League defeat by Dutch side Utrecht.

But the 33-year-old is optimistic about good times ahead at Celtic Park.

"I feel very good," the centre-back said. "Of course, it's always easier when you win and play well. But step by step I am getting to where I want to be so I am quite confident that this year will be a good year for the whole team and club. We have a lot of good, quality players. We just need to settle them in together.

"We have a lot of new players in the squad and it just takes time to come to the right point. We are in a good way now and I think it will get even better."

The summer signing from AEK Athens added: "You can always learn and take steps but the most important thing is to keep your mentality and concentrate and if we play like we're doing now, that's very good.

"I am a winner and want to win titles. Our aim is to win the league first of all and then to win the cups. That's our target and we aim to fulfil it."

Meanwhile, Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell was in India yesterday to announce a scheme to send out coaches to nurture and identify talent during a school football tournament.