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Magennis interview in the record


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JOSH MAGENNIS grew up in Northern Ireland supporting Rangers and Celtic but he's aiming to put the boot into the champions' title defence tomorrow.

 

And the goalie-turned-striker reckons he can help Aberdeen win by winding up his Ibrox pal Kyle Lafferty in what has proved to be one of the SPL's most explosive fixtures.

 

Magennis, 20, said : "Lafferty is a mixed bag as in one game his head will go and he'll get sent off then the next time he'll score a hat-trick - like he did against Dunfermline in midweek.

 

"That's what you get with him but he's a good player who will be a real threat and hopefully our defenders handle him.

 

"I'm hoping for his mad side because he's quite easy to wind up. Just talking to him winds him up, generally about money and stuff can set him off and get him off his game a bit.

 

"He can score and create goals so if we can keep him quiet and his mind off the match we'll be fine."

 

Rangers stars Steven Davis and Andy Little helped persuade Magennis to join the Dons after being released by Cardiff and he is determined to prove he has made his mark in Scotland's top flight by ending Rangers' 100 per cent start to the league campaign.

 

The Northern Ireland Under-21 cap said: "As a kid, I supported Rangers and Celtic because my grandad was a Catholic and my mum was a Protestant so I used to hear them bickering about the house.

 

"I definitely want to be involved against Rangers. One of the main reasons I came to Scotland was to take part in games against both halves of the Old Firm and this is my first chance.

 

"I know Gavin Rae and Chris Burke from my time at Cardiff and of course Kyle, Andy and Steve from the Northern Ireland set-up. There's been a good bit of banter going both ways so it's been great but I haven't been talking to them as often as I should, especially this week.

 

"I spoke to Andy and Steve about coming to Aberdeen and they really sold it to me. Steve told me it would be high intensity and I'd have to graft for everything in the SPL.

 

"He's been right with everything he said, so it was great advice, but I won't ease off on him if we meet on Sunday. If there's a 50-50 challenge between us I'll be going in there to win it.

 

"That's the way it's got to be when I play for Aberdeen and he plays for Rangers. We are best of friends but when we go on the pitch, that will be forgotten.

 

"I know from the taxi drivers in Aberdeen and the fans I speak to they aren't too concerned about the other results as long as we beat Rangers.

 

"Hopefully we'll go out and attack.

 

I'm sure the fans want to see what we can do as a team and that we aren't afraid of anyone."

 

It has been four years since Rangers won at Pittodrie and Walter Smith has still to leave with all three points since his return to Ibrox.

 

Nevertheless, Dons boss Mark McGhee insisted the champions have never been better equipped to secure that elusive win.

 

He said: "It is an astonishing record and I don't know if we have a better record against any other team in the SPL. We'd love to keep it going but Rangers will come here in good shape to put this hoodoo to an end. We'll be facing a Rangers team who have not played much better than they are at the moment.

 

"For me, Kenny Miller has gone up a notch and we are going to be hard pressed to cope with him.

 

"However, in Scott Vernon we have a striker in top form as well.

 

"We have put ourselves under a little bit more pressure having failed to win against Killie, Dundee United and at Motherwell. If we want to stay where we are in the league we need to get three points.

 

"Normally you go into a Rangers game thinking a point is all right but this time we need the three more than we have done in the past."

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