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Ben Davies hopes win over St Johnstone can be start of ‘good run’ for Rangers

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 17 Sep 2023

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Ben Davies hopes Rangers got back on track with their 2-0 cinch Premiership win over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

The 28-year-old defender made his first start of the season on Saturday after recovering from fitness issues dating back to a hamstring complaint picked up against Aberdeen in May.

Brazilian striker Danilo headed the Light Blues ahead after 16 minutes but had to be immediately substituted along with Saints captain Liam Gordon after both men clashed heads, with the Gers player taken to hospital with a fractured cheekbone.

Substitute Rabbi Matondo added a second in the 79th minute and, after damaging defeats to Celtic and PSV Eindhoven before the international break, the Govan side go into the Europa League opener against Real Betis at Ibrox on Thursday night with renewed confidence.

Davies told RangersTV: “It was good to be back, I felt my fitness – lungs wise – was good and I felt quite strong in the game.

“It was my first 90 minutes since before Aberdeen, so it’s been a long time and I was happy to be out there and involved.

“When I realised I was playing, I was just thinking, ‘Solid performance and clean sheet’. So I was happy that we’ve done that.

“I thought we controlled the game really well, limited them to not much at all. We scored two good goals and could have scored more.

“But it’s a step back in the right direction and the start of hopefully a good run.

“The most important game is always the next one and to bounce back from not a great start (to the season) is crucial to do so at the first opportunity and we’ve done that.

“We sent fans home pretty happy and now we can look forward to playing the next game.

“I’m looking forward to Thursday, under the lights at Ibrox is special, so it’s really important that we find a performance.

“I’ve got a few days now recovering until the next game so hopefully make the most of that and then we can go again.”

St Johnstone are bottom of the table with just two points and no wins in five games, but manager Steven MacLean believes there is better to come from his squad.

The former McDiarmid Park striker said: “I always said we will get better as we go on. We have 11 new signings and we are going to improve.

“There is certainly enough to work with. I was concerned at the start of the season, but the group I have got together now. if we keep working hard and improving we will be fine this season.”

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