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Loan Rangers' future in balance

Alan Gow and Andy Webster
Gow and Webster have had contrasting experiences in English football

Rangers manager Walter Smith will decide this month if Andy Webster and Alan Gow have a future at Ibrox after their return from spells on loan.

Defender Webster and forward Gow were shipped out along with several younger players, including midfielder Dean Furman, to find first-team football.

But Smith hinted that some were nearing the end of their time with Rangers.

"As is part and parcel of the transfer window, we'll look at a larger group of players and cut it down," he said.

Smith last month hinted that up to 10 of his squad could leave by the summer and Gow, who made just two appearances last season after arriving from Falkirk, is widely expected to be one of them.

Five goals in 17 appearances have led Blackpool to consider extending the 26-year-old's stay beyond the end of his loan spell this month.

And Championship rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers have also been linked with a bid for the forward.

Andy's problem is that we have to get him up to speed because he's had something like two years without regular first-team football

Rangers manager Walter Smith

Webster made just one appearance for Rangers after his transfer from Wigan Athletic before he suffered serious injury.

The 26-year-old Scotland defender's injury nightmare continued on loan to Bristol City, a series of minor niggles having restricted him to six appearances before his five-month stay with the Championship club ended earlier this week.

"In Andy's case, we put him out on loan to try to get him games so that he could get to a level of fitness that would lead to him returning to our squad," Smith told Rangers' website.

"It hasn't worked out like that and he has had a couple of injuries again and hasn't been playing on a regular basis.

"Andy's problem is that we have to get him up to speed because he's had something like two years without regular first-team football.

"He has been lucky to play half a dozen games in that time and it has not been an easy spell for him.

"We will see what happens when he comes back and we'll review the situation then.

"Alan Gow is the same, as are the rest of the players we've had out."

South African Furman has made 10 starts and five substitute appearances for Bradford City and this week said he would like to remain with the English League Two outfit.

Definitely returning to Ibrox is fellow 20-year-old midfielder Paul Emslie, whose loan spell with Scottish First Division outfit Clyde has been cut short through injury after 10 games.

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see also
Furman happy to stay at Bradford
31 Dec 08 |  Bradford
Adam's Ibrox future in own hands
31 Dec 08 |  Rangers
Novo's star on the rise in Spain
30 Dec 08 |  Rangers
Wilson and Robinson join Queens
30 Dec 08 |  Inverness CT
John extends Bristol City stint
29 Dec 08 |  Bristol City
Smith patient on transfer raids
29 Dec 08 |  Rangers
Burgess delighted with Gow impact
22 Oct 08 |  Blackpool


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