Zura future's hope
By Ben Blackmore
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Zura Khizanishvili is desperate to force his way back into the Rangers team.
Georgian international Zura Khizanishvili has pleaded with Glasgow Rangers boss Alex McLeish to give him a second chance in his Rangers career.
The 23-year-old has found himself frozen out at Ibrox since joining from Dundee in 2003, and he now has to contend with the extra pressure of new signings Jose-Karl Pierre Fanfan and Brahim Hemdani.
"I want to play and I hope I will have a big part to play next season," revealed Khizanishvili.
"There are many players here who can play in my position, but you have to be ready.
"It is difficult. There are new players so they have to play. It is not like when I first came here and I was the new player and played every game."
Rangers are also yet to rule out a move for the permanent return of Sotirios Kyrgiakos, whose arrival would damage Khizanishvili's first-team chances further.
However, the Georgian is ready to fight for his place in McLeish's team.
"I have a couple of options but I don't know what Rangers want - if they want me to stay here or if they want me to leave.
"But my opinion is that I am very happy to stay here. I want to play, I hope I will get to play and, if I do play, then I will be happy."
Khizanishvili also warned his team-mates against complacency before the 2005/06 campaign, stressing the extra effort that Rangers will be up against from opposing teams this season.
"We are champions so it won't be easy because, when you win the league, everyone is more focused when they play against you.
"A few years ago we won everything and then lost everything - that was because everyone was focused on beating Rangers.
"That doesn't need to happen this time."
Meanwhile, one of Rangers' brightest young talents, Ross McCormack, made a big impact on his manager during a pre-season friendly in Toronto.
The 19-year-old scored twice and set up two more in a 4-1 victory for The Gers, and McLeish was quick to pick out the positives in the youngster's performance.
"Ross McCormack showed us hopefully a taste of what is to come with his delivery and set-pieces," said McLeish.
"His link-up play is tremendous and he links up ever so well with the midfield."