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Page last updated at 17:54 GMT, Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Adam's Ibrox future in own hands

Rangers midfielder Charlie Adam
Adam has not been a first-team regular with Rangers this season

Rangers manager Walter Smith insists it is up to Charlie Adam whether the midfielder remains a Rangers player after the January transfer window.

The 23-year-old started his first game for a month on Saturday and has been tipped to be among several departures.

But, asked if there was still a role for Adam at Ibrox, Smith told Rangers' website: "Of course there is.

"He's been in and out the team, Charlie. Whether he's happy or not with that is another factor."

Smith recently hinted that he expects to shed up to 10 of his squad by next summer and French striker Jean-Claude Darcheville has already agreed a transfer to Valenciennes.

But the Rangers manager still believes Adam can play a part in helping Rangers catch Celtic in the Scottish title race.

Madjid Bougherra's thigh strain has taken far longer to heal up than we thought it would

Rangers manager Walter Smith

"He played in the game on Saturday," he said of a 1-0 defeat by the league leaders that leaves the Ibrox side seven points adrift in second place.

"Unfortunately for us, he was ill. Such was his keenness to play that he didn't mention it.

"There was a little bit of sickness on the pitch in the first half of the game, so I had to take him off at half-time.

"But he can do a job for us. He's done so in the past and can continue to do so as well."

Meanwhile, Rangers are once again sweating over the fitness of Madjid Bougherra going into Sunday's match away to Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

The 26-year-old defender was hoping to demonstrate his recovery from a troublesome thigh strain in Tuesday's friendly with St Johnstone, but he failed to take the field.

"His thigh strain has taken far longer to heal up than we thought it would," said Smith.

"Over the last two two or three weeks, he's made an effort to get fit and hasn't.

"We just have to give it the time and hopefully that time is just about up now."

Lee McCulloch, who has been playing as a makeshift centre-half, was forced off before half-time with a back problem against Saints, but the injury is not thought to be serious.

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see also
Novo's star on the rise in Spain
30 Dec 08 |  Rangers
Wilson and Robinson join Queens
30 Dec 08 |  Inverness CT
Smith patient on transfer raids
29 Dec 08 |  Rangers
Adam content to stay at Rangers
28 Dec 08 |  Rangers

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