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Thursday, 16 April 2009 23:46

Happy to remain patient - Rangers’ Mendes

Old Firm set for title battle

MendesRangers’ Portuguese midfielder Pedro Mendes says he is happy to remain patient in his side’s championship bid, providing they ultimately beat fierce rivals Celtic to the SPL title.

Mendes’ men currently trail the champions by one point, having closed the gap by two points over the weekend, and Rangers are currently on a three-match winning run in the Scottish top flight heading into the final six matches of the campaign.

"When I came to Rangers, my main aim was to win the league and everyone at the club has a real desire to do that,” said Mendes. "We are trying hard and at the moment we're sitting in second position which is not ideal because we want to be first.

"But there is still a long way to go. There are six games left and plenty of points to go for, not to mention one more game with Celtic. Success tastes better when it's hard to get and hopefully we'll be able to enjoy ourselves at the end of the season, as it's what happens then that people will remember.

"Being first or second during the year is not a big thing for me because it doesn't count for anything. Finishing first at the end does.

"You just have to look at how many points we are getting. Last week we played two teams battling for their lives and a third pushing for the top six but we won each time. We were more than happy with that. I don't mind if we win 1-0 or 2-1 as long as we eventually get past Celtic then stay there."

While playing in England, Mendes earned himself a reputation as a scorer of spectacular goals, most notably at Portsmouth. The midfielder has continued that trend in Scotland, with all three of the strikes he has to his name so far this season featuring as nominees in the list of six Rangers Goal of the Season candidates.

However, it has been over three months since he found the back of the net: "I think I need to practice my shooting again because it has been a while since I scored,” he said. "The three goals I have got for Rangers have been good, I must confess that. They've been nice goals to see and I've enjoyed them.

"But to be honest, I'm happy to see anyone score as long as we win the title. I would be more than happy with that. If it's me who strikes and it's a tap in then great. If it's a 50-yarder that gets us the trophy, so be it. All we want is to be happy at the end of the season."

By Sean Gillen

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