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Foster:If Rangers had money I would still be at Aberdeen fighting relegation

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RICKY FOSTER is bright enough to know that if Walter Smith had serious money to spend he would be fighting relegation instead of living a Champions League dream.


The 25-year-old was plucked from Pittodrie on loan hours before the transfer deadline because of his ability to play in just about every defensive and midfield position - a versatility Smith needed to bolster a squad seriously lacking in numbers.


And while Foster has started matches against Valencia and Manchester United in the world's most glamorous club competition, the mates he left behind have slumped to joint bottom of the SPL and ditched Mark McGhee.


The Dons' plight saddens Foster, particularly as he'll have to go back to the Granite City at the end of the season if Rangers don't try to make his loan permanent.


But he is convinced he won't be swapping the Champions League for the First Division if he does return to see out the remaining two years of his contract.


Also Foster believes he will be able to handle any stick he gets from the Aberdeen supporters who haven't taken kindly to him moving to Rangers.


Yesterday, as he landed in Turkey ahead of tomorrow's final Group C match against Bursaspor, Foster said: "I think I would get a little bit of stick but it would only be from a small section.


"I'm sure a lot of them would realise that I never instigated this move. It just came about.


"If you look at it, in my first two weeks here I went to Old Trafford and since then I've played against Valencia and Manchester United at Ibrox.


"I don't think any of the Aberdeen fans could say it was a bad move for me. It has obviously enhanced my CV, it has enhanced my career.


"I think if they look at it without bias, they would realise it was a good move for me and something I couldn't turn down.


"It has all been a little strange. The manager gave me a new contract in January, but just a few months later he was willing to let me go to Rangers.


"I was very surprised. I was probably the second or third up there in terms of games played and experience.


"I can also play a few positions. It was a hard one for me to get my head round but I was never going to look at it in that sense. I was just happy that he allowed me to leave and try something new."


That something new includes the Champions League and wherever Foster ends up, he will go armed with the confidence that comes with holding his own against some of the world's best.


Foster said: "It is a massive confidence boost for me to play in the Champions League.


"Against Manchester United and Valencia I was playing against some of the best players in the world.


"It's the biggest club competition you can play in. You watch it on the TV and think, 'How good am I compared to them?'


"You realise that although the players are better than me, especially at the top clubs, they are maybe not as far ahead of me as I first thought. I was playing against Nani and we've all seen what he can do on his game.


"The Valencia game was nerve-wracking at first and I thought I coped better against Manchester United. Right from the start I was confident, I knew I could play at that level."


Foster believes Rangers have done well to finish such a strong group in third but reckons investment must be made in January if Smith's men are to enjoy a Europa League run.


He said: "It's difficult to say how we'll do in that tournament but ideally we'd want to get in a few more players. There's been a few games where the manager's only been able to put six boys on the bench.


"To compete in competitions like the Europa League, and even to maintain our form in the SPL, you need to have depth.


"I think with the money being spent by other clubs, it would be difficult for us to progress in the tournament with the current squad."


Before that, though, the curtain comes down on the Champions League and with Kirk Broadfoot and Sasa Papac out, Foster is set to play in only his second European tie on foreign soil.


He hopes it is a better experience than the one he had for Aberdeen against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup a couple of seasons ago when the Dons were skelped 5-1.


He said: "I played in the Allianz Arena in Munich. But I ran about the pitch for 90 minutes while Bayern Munich played. This will be a different experience if I'm involved.


"Turkey is a hostile environment anyway when it comes to football. It will be a different experience but it will also be one I'll hopefully enjoy if I'm selected.


"It's not a meaningless game for me. I played the last two games against Manchester United and Kilmarnock but since then the matches have been cancelled.


"So it would be nice to get this game and if I am in the team I will try to show the manager what I can do and hopefully get selected for more games."


Foster would love to stay at Rangers but is wary about admitting it, given that he may have to return north at the end of the campaign.


He added: "If my loan spell ends here and I go back to Aberdeen I will welcome that as much as anything else. I do think they've got the squad to stay up. In fact, I do think they are a top-six team.


"Individually they've got a lot of good players, just collectively they are not gelling. They are having a tough time right now but I think the players and the management have to take a bit of responsibility, although it is always the manager who loses his job, as Mark did.


"But hopefully the new manager will give them a new lease of life and everyone will be fighting to get in the team.


"That usually spurs the players on to play better and hopefully they will get back up the league.


"I don't know what will happen with myself. I'm sure if I do well enough it might be on the cards for me to stay. But it's not something I'm thinking about. I'm just here to play.


"If I'm playing in the Rangers team every week then it kind of puts me in the market.


"But if I was to dwell on that kind of thing then I would struggle to play any football at all."

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I'm pleased that Foster's doing well in the Champion's league - thought he did really well against Nani.


He's smart enough to know that you don't burn bridges in this game. I'd happily welcome him back in the summer with the added confidence he'll no doubt have but would be just as happy with a good fee for him.

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Once you pull on the blue jersey there is no going back.


I'll take whatever they offer us for him.


Absolute crap or should that be carp given the fishing nature of your coment.

Don't believe for one second that you genuinely think that way

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Foster will strengthen us next season if he returns, no doubt. He is gaining fantastic experience and his confidence will have grown exponentially. We can't afford to dwell on such idiocy as 'he played for the huns'. Get him back and let's win from this move.

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remember all the bad seasons he had also


He has had bad seasons however he is still a far better option at full back than any of our current squad and I would have him back in January (if possible) never mind next summer.


Never understood (with obvious execptions) this pish about not wanting to sign ex huns. Used to fairly wind them up when Bett scored against them especially when you reminded them he used to play for them.

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Foster is set to play in only his second European tie on foreign soil.


He hopes it is a better experience than the one he had for Aberdeen against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Cup a couple of seasons ago when the Dons were skelped 5-1.


I must have dreamt that he crossed the ball over D'nipro heads for Mackie to score.


Anyone who wouldn't want Foster back in the team right now is a fucking idiot.

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