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FORMER Ranger Kevin Drinkell is backing Alex McLeish to bring the title to Ibrox on the back of last season's cup double - and he says much-maligned Tore Andre Flo is the man to get the goals along the way.

With no takers for Flo (right) so far this summer, the Norwegian will carry Rangers' main threat in front of goal.

Drinkell isn't among the pounds 12million striker's critics and feels that given the breaks he could power the Gers to the title.

The former striker said: "Flo has a great scoring record and has done what he was bought to do. Given a rub of the green he is capable of scoring against anyone and I fancy him playing alongside Shota Arveladze.

"Flo's scoring record stands comparison with anyone - he wasn't brought to Rangers to be strong and aggressive. There's not much between success and failure and I feel Flo isn't far away from getting it right in the big matches.

"Peter Lovenkrands can upset defenders with his pace but he's not what I would term an out-and-out centre-forward.

"Lovenkrands is unorthodox and sometimes against Celtic or in a European game that's what you need to upset defenders.

"At the moment the title race looks like being very close but if Rangers can start the season convincingly that will send out the right signals from Ibrox.

"I firmly believe they have the players to win the title back and it'll be very interesting to see if Alex McLeish can manage it in his first full season." As well as smashing Celtic's treble ambitions, Rangers' double glory has restored belief at Ibrox. McLeish has worked quietly since taking over from Dick Advocaat seven months ago but knows the hour of reckoning is fast approaching.

Only the title satisfies Old Firm fans and Drinkell said: "Celtic have won a couple of titles now but I don't think there is much between the two sides.

"Since the turn of the year morale has been lifted at Rangers and they are definitely up for the challenge. The new players will want to come in and be winners and players like Barry Ferguson, Craig Moore and Lorenzo Amoruso will all want to be winners again.

"It's not nice being the second team in Glasgow and I sense a determination about Rangers now.

"When I arrived with Gary Stevens in 1988 we wanted to be winners and lads like Ian Durrant and Ally McCoist felt exactly the same. We also had Terry Butcher coming back from a broken leg and that fired us all up to take the title back from Celtic.

"More than ever I think the Old Firm games will decide the title. There won't be many points dropped elsewhere and I think Rangers showed last season in the cups that they are capable of getting the better of Celtic."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 28, 2002
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