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Greg Docherty keen to fulfil dream of playing for Rangers in Europe | Football News

Last Updated: 12/10/18 12:03pm

Greg Docherty has impressed in his loan spell at Shrewsbury

Greg Docherty has impressed in his loan spell at Shrewsbury

Greg Docherty has impressed in his loan spell at Shrewsbury

Rangers’ Greg Docherty hopes his loan spell at Shrewsbury will help him to fulfil his dream of playing in big European nights for the Scottish club.

The 22-year-old sacrificed his chance to sample Rangers’ Europa League campaign this season after Gers boss Steven Gerrard suggested he would benefit from gaining more action out on loan.

Docherty has impressed in 10 games for the Sky Bet League One side so far this season but admits his mind has wandered to events back home as Rangers kicked off their group stage fixtures with impressive performances against Villarreal and Rapid Vienna.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard speaks with Greg Docherty Rangers manager Steven Gerrard speaks with Greg Docherty

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard speaks with Greg Docherty

Their 3-1 home win over the Austrians was played out to a thunderous backdrop in Glasgow and the midfielder is as determined as ever to taste that Ibrox atmosphere for himself.

“I’ve watched the European games and it’s been hard. The atmosphere seemed amazing and those are the type of matches I’ve always dreamed of being involved in, so it was tough not being there.

“I went on the first two European trips to Macedonia and Croatia and it was tough as, while I was delighted for the guys getting a couple of great results, I wanted to be contributing.

Rangers beat Rapid Vienna 3-1 at Ibrox Rangers beat Rapid Vienna 3-1 at Ibrox

Rangers beat Rapid Vienna 3-1 at Ibrox

“So I’ve taken a gamble coming down here to Shrewsbury. The hope is that while I’m missing out on some big nights this season, I can develop to the point where I’ll be able to look forward to many of them in the years to come. I’ve still got four years on my contract and I fully intend to see it out – if not extend it.”

Gerrard has made sure Docherty does not feel he is out of sight and out of mind.

“The gaffer told me any time I’m up visiting, I should pop in. He said he wants me still to be around the place,” he said. “My kit and my locker’s still there and the last time I was up on a day off, I popped in to use the gym and had a quick chat with him and the staff.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet League One match between Shrewsbury and Accrington

Highlights of the Sky Bet League One match between Shrewsbury and Accrington

“I’d scored the weekend before and the gaffer mentioned it. It’s nice to know he’s keeping an eye on me.

“They have made sure I still feel very welcome and everyone seemed delighted to see me when I popped in which was nice. I know what I need to focus on to ensure I come back up the road and become a Rangers mainstay.”

Adding a killer touch to his game is one of the improvements asked of him and Docherty has responded with three goals in his last five appearances for the Shrews.

“This is probably my best goalscoring run ever,” he said. “This was one of the reasons why I was so keen to go out on loan, to show I can contribute in the final third. I’ve enjoyed my time down here. Getting a run of games is really benefiting me.

Greg Docherty joined Rangers in January from Hamilton Greg Docherty joined Rangers in January from Hamilton

Greg Docherty joined Rangers in January from Hamilton

“It’s not just on the pitch I’ve developed, I’ve matured massively off it. I’m living alone for the first time and I’ve become a bit more independent. My girlfriend and I were in the process of finding our own place but we’ve had to put that on the back-burner as I’m now down here.

“But we’re making it work and my family are pretty much down for every game. However, I’m alone down here most of the time and if things aren’t going well it’s harder, as I don’t have that support network.

“But that’s allowed my mental state to grow and strengthen. That was something I was keen to do because when you play for the Old Firm, there are a lot of demands put on you and you need to be able to cope.”

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