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Page last updated at 10:20 GMT, Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Steven Naismith signs long-term Rangers deal

Rangers striker Steven Naismith

Naismith pens new Rangers contract

Rangers forward Steven Naismith has signed a contract extension that will keep him at Ibrox until May 2015.

The 24-year-old Scotland international, who joined from Kilmarnock in 2007 after more than 100 appearances there, had 18 months left on his contract.

"I'm happy to sign for the long term and hopefully now a few of the other boys do as well," Naismith told the Rangers website.

"We didn't speak that long and there was never any doubt I'd sign."

Naismith is enjoying a profitable season, having scored eight goals in club colours plus heading a goal in Scotland's 3-2 Hampden defeat by Spain.

The player has featured more frequently in the Rangers first team this season.


And Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist was pleased they could secure Naismith for the next five years.

"I'm absolutely thrilled. Steven's a great kid and this season he's come on leaps and bounds," said McCoist.

"It's a real boost to the club that he's decided to extend to 2015. He's had a tough time, getting a serious knee injury in a game at Hampden.

"It's tough when he had to watch the boys training while he's in the gym.

"But he's a great worker and personally I'm delighted he's signed, but also with the way he's playing."

In previous seasons Naismith's appearances had also been limited by the prowess in front of goal of his former Rugby Park team-mate Kris Boyd and the availability of other strikers such as Nacho Novo.

But this season Naismith's fine form and injuries to new arrivals Nikica Jelavic and James Beattie have seen him prosper.

Ibrox defender Steven Whittaker also welcomed Naismith's decision to sign a new deal

"He's shown this season what an important player he is for us and it's great he's committed his future to Rangers," said Whittaker.

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see also
Rangers reluctant to sell Miller
10 Dec 10 |  Rangers
Naismith makes late Rangers move
31 Aug 07 |  Kilmarnock

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