Weir revels in busy Rangers spell

14 February 2011 10:22
David Weir is anticipating an action-packed final stretch of the campaign as Rangers prepare for Thursday's Europa League clash with Sporting Lisbon.And the 40-year-old Ibrox skipper will have no time to rest as a league trip to Celtic Park looms on Sunday. [LNB]"It's exciting to be involved in Europe at this stage of the season," said Weir. "It's a nice boost for the players and it gives everybody a lift. [LNB]"Every week from now until the end of the season is going to be big." [LNB]Rangers can take heart from their previous encounters with Sporting, having beaten them on successful European runs in 1972 and 2008. [LNB]The Scottish champions beat the Portuguese side on the away goals rule en route to lifting the European Cup-Winners' Cup. [LNB]And more recently a 2-0 away win followed a 0-0 in Glasgow at the quarter-final stage as Rangers progressed to the final of the Uefa Cup. [LNB]Sporting currently sit third in their domestic league but trail leaders Porto by 23 points and they have drawn their last two matches with teams from the bottom half of the division; Olhanense and Naval.[LNB] We've proved in the past that a no score draw at home can be a favourable result David Weir The visitors have also recently allowed star striker Liedson to return to Corinthians in his native Brazil. [LNB]Weir told BBC Radio Scotland he was unaware of any problems Rangers' opponents may be experiencing, saying simply: "We've got to focus on ourselves and make sure we are right. [LNB]"We had a decent result at the weekend [a 6-0 win against Motherwell] and played a lot of good football. There were a lot of positives for us and we'll focus on that. [LNB]"Lisbon will be tough opposition, as the European teams always are." [LNB]Given his advancing years, much is made of Weir's level of fitness but the central defender is enjoying his football as much as ever. [LNB]"A rest is the last thing I want," he explained. [LNB]"I'm like every other player, I want to play in every game, especially when they mean as much as they do at the minute." [LNB]A small squad at Ibrox has been bolstered by the recent arrivals of El Hadji Diouf, Kyle Bartley and David Healy and Weir has been impressed by the new arrivals. [LNB]"I think they've been great additions, I really do," he added. [LNB]"Kyle played his first game at the weekend and made a big impression and showed that he can do a job for us. [LNB]"The lads and the crowd have taken to El Hadji Diouf. He's wholehearted and he has obvious qualities.[LNB]Weir has been impressed by loan arrival El Hadji Diouf"As for David Healy, if we had a roof at Ibrox, it would have blown off when he scored on Saturday. You could feel the crowd willing the ball in. [LNB]"He's another crowd favourite already." [LNB]Diouf enjoyed a ding-dong battle with Scott Brown when Rangers and Celtic played out a 2-2 Scottish Cup draw at Ibrox this month. [LNB]The Senegalese has been at the centre of several controversies in a turbulent career but has made a bright start to the Scottish chapter of his career. [LNB]"I think he thrives on the attention and he's more than capable of handling the pressure." said Weir. [LNB]"He obviously has a reputation based on previous [behaviour] but I don't think he could have handled it [the Old Firm derby] any better and I think he should be getting praise for that." [LNB]With fixture congestion again rearing its head in Scotland, the prospect of a run in Europe would only exacerbate the problem for Rangers, not that you will find Weir complaining. [LNB]"If you look for an excuse, you'll find one," he added. "And this group of players has never been accused of that. [LNB]"We want to stay in Europe for as long as we can and experience the kind of great nights we had on our last run. [LNB]"Obviously, we'll try and win the game but we've proved in the past that a no score draw at home can be a favourable result because it puts a different slant on the return match. [LNB]"A performance first and foremost will be what the manager asks for but winning games is what it's all about."

Source: BBC_Sport