Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Charlie Adam targets SPL title after return from injury

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 10 May 2008

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Rangers’ Charlie Adam hopes to help his side achieve the four Scottish Premier League wins needed to secure the title after making a quicker than expected return from injury.

The Ibrox side’s midfielder was expected to be ruled out until next season with a knee injury but played the final 15 minutes of Wednesday’s 1-0 victory at home to Motherwell.

And Adam now hopes to play his part in what could be an historic season for the club.

Four more SPL wins — starting against Dundee United on Saturday — would see Rangers lift the league championship.

They also have the UEFA Cup Final against FC Zenit St Petersburg next Wednesday and the Scottish Cup final against Queen of the South on May 24 as they look to add to the League Cup they won in March.

Adam said: “When I first picked up the injury I thought my season was over. But I’ve worked hard and it great to be back and not going to miss such an important period for the team.

“The next couple of weeks are a crucial period for us as we could win three trophies.

“There are four league games left and we’re still in a good position. If we win them all then we win the championship so it’s in our own hands.

“We also have the UEFA Cup to look forward to. That’s a huge game for everyone involved with the club as it’s not often you have the chance to take part in a major European Final.

“And we also have the Scottish Cup at the end of the season. The only way to cope is to take every game at a time but if we could win everything it would be an unbelievable achievement.”

In addition to Adam, on Saturday Rangers will also welcome back midfielder Lee McCulloch, who was also expected to miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury.

While the Ibrox side have the league championship to play for their opponents Dundee United also have plenty at stake in their final games.

Currently sitting fourth, on 52 points, the Tannadice team are involved in a four way fight to finish third and qualify for next season’s UEFA Cup.

The SPL record between the two sides this season is one win apiece and a 3-3 draw at Tannadice, while in the League Cup Final they finished locked at 2-2 after extra-time, before Rangers won on penalties.

Another close and nervy game is expected at Ibrox on Saturday. Celtic, meanwhile, will have to wait until Sunday for their penultimate game of the season at home to Hibernian.

A victory for the Parkhead side will ensure the destination of the title will not be decided until the last day – barring a catastrophic collapse by Rangers in their final four games.

However fifth placed Hibs – who are on 52 points and also chasing a UEFA Cup spot – will be confident of causing another upset after holding Rangers to a goalless draw at Easter Road last Sunday.

In the remaining games on Saturday they only one of real consequence is at Fir Park where third placed Motherwell take on sixth placed Aberdeen, who are on 50 points.

Mark McGhee’s Well side are in the driving seat for European football next season, with 53 points having played a game less than the Dons, Hibs and United.

The fixtures from the bottom six see Falkirk at home to Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Hearts host Kilmarnock, and St Mirren welcome relegated Gretna to Love Street.

Fixtures (1400 GMT unless stated)

Saturday

Rangers v Dundee United (1130 GMT), Falkirk v Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Hearts v Kilmarnock, Motherwell v Aberdeen, St Mirren v Gretna.

Sunday

Celtic v Hibernian (1130 GMT)

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