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Fleck keen to put an end to the hype
Published : 23 Jun 2010 15:18:00Rss feed
Rangers starlet John Fleck believes too much expectation has been placed on his young shoulders and insists he is not the next Wayne Rooney. Fleck burst on to the scene when he made his senior competitive debut as a 16-year-old in January 2008, making him the youngest player to pull on the light blue jersey since Derek Ferguson back in 1983. A year later, a national newspaper placed Fleck - the nephew of former Rangers star Robert - seventh in their Top 50 Rising Stars of European football feature. Now 18, he hopes the forthcoming campaign will see him finally establish himself as a regular first-team pick in Walter Smith's side. But the youngster admits comparisons with a certain Manchester United and England player have contributed to too much hype surrounding his fledgling career so far. "People definitely expected too much of me," said Fleck, as he promoted the Scottish champions' new home kit at Ibrox. "I'm still a young boy and I think people expected me just to come out and be like Wayne Rooney every week but that's not going to happen. "He's a world-class player and it takes time for a young boy to come through. I'm willing to be patient but hopefully I'll get my chance. "I've been involved for the last couple of years now, coming off the bench and things like that, so hopefully this will be the season for me." He added: "I wouldn't say it's a make or break season. I'm still young and hopefully I can just play as much as possible. "I'm not saying I'm going to play every week or anything but if I'm doing well at training, the manager will make his choices. "If I play, then great. If I don't, I just need to keep working hard." Fleck signed a new three-year-deal in March following suggestions he wanted to quit Rangers and seek a lucrative move south of the border. But the teenager claims his intention was always to extend his stay at Ibrox, insisting: "To be honest, this was the only place I wanted to be. "There were people saying I wanted to leave but didn't want to leave. I always wanted to stay here. "Hopefully I will have a lot to look forward to next season. I'm just going to try to work on my finishing, my heading and my strength and hopefully I will get better." Fleck now hopes fellow youngster Danny Wilson will follow suit and pledge his future to Rangers. The teenage centre-half has attracted the interest of Liverpool after an impressive debut season, where he experienced the Champions League, the Old Firm derby and cup finals. "Hopefully he will stay," said Fleck. "He is still a young boy and I'm sure he will do well for us if he does stay. "It's up to him, whether he wants to go or not is his choice. "I've not spoken to him about it but I'm sure he has probably spoken to people like Davie Weir to see what he thinks. "The gaffer can make him a better player and I'm sure he would give him games as he is a great player. "I'm just hoping he stays because I think he has a big future here. I think he would play every week next season if he did stay."
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