Matondo vows to ‘keep grafting' as he aims to prove worth to Rangers

The Wales winger says he knows the quality he has.

Rabbi Matondo is determined to make his mark at Rangers, despite an unconvincing first season at Ibrox.

The 22-year-old Wales winger joined the Light Blues on a four-year deal from German side Schalke last summer following loan spells at Stoke and Cercle Brugge.

However, hindered at times by injury, he failed to nail down a regular first-team spot, making most of his 28 appearances as a substitute, and boss Michael Beale did not name him in the recent European squad for the Champions League qualifier against Servette.

However, Beale praised Matondo’s efforts off the bench in the 4-0 cinch Premiership win over Livingston at Ibrox last weekend – his first minutes of the season – and the attacker is looking for more game time in the ViaPlay Cup last-16 tie against Championship side Morton at Ibrox on Saturday – and beyond.

“The manager has brought a lot of talent in and that’s what happens at clubs like Rangers,” said Matondo.

“No footballer will tell you that they don’t want to play football, they all want to play football.

“Sometimes you have to wait for your opportunity and be patient and keep grafting away. It’s all I can do.

“I wouldn’t say it is an easy thing, but a club like Rangers, we need to win every game, that’s what we demand from each other and what the fans demand.

“Of course it is down to me as well to be fit to do everything in my power to convince the manager that I should be playing. Obviously the manager has to go with what he feels is the best team at that moment in time so I need to keep grafting hard.

“I know the qualities I can bring, the qualities I can show, but is down to me to stay fit and humble enough to take my opportunity when it does come.

“The manager has been honest and open with me. We have a good relationship.

“Ultimately it is down to me when I get my opportunities to take them. I have not come here to not try to play and try to show what I am about.

“I know I haven’t reached the levels I would have wanted to reach and what people would probably have expected. But that’s football, it happens.

“I am not stressed. I am not panicking. I know what I can do. I know how good I can be so, as I said, it is about taking opportunities.

“I did all right last week so it is about building on that.”

Rangers’ 3-2 aggregate win over Servette set up a Champions League play-off tie against PSV Eindhoven, with the first leg at Ibrox on Tuesday night, but assistant coach Neil Banfield insists the focus is on Morton.

“The manager will pick the team that he feels will win the game,” said Banfield, who confirmed one injury but would not reveal the player’s identity.

“It is a big cup game, the club has a great history in it, so we will use it to get into the next round and then look to PSV next week.

“But this game is firmly in our focus. We have got to win the game.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code