ROSS McCausland has paid tribute to Steven Davis for helping him to make the breakthrough at Rangers and admitted he would like to emulate the incredible European run which his countryman went on with the Ibrox club two seasons ago. 

Northern Irish winger McCausland, who signed a new contract which keeps him at the Glasgow giants until 2027 on Tuesday, has impressed onlookers with his lively performances out wide both at home and abroad during the 2023/24 season.

The 20-year-old, who made his debut for his country in a Euro 2024 qualifier against Finland in Helsinki during the international break, is set to feature for his boyhood heroes in their Europa League match against Aris Limassol of Cyprus in Govan this evening.

McCausland described his involvement with the team he grew up supporting this term as “a dream come true” and stressed that he was always keen to agree an extension to his current deal despite speculation linking him with a move down south.

He is grateful to his compatriot Davis, who gave him game time when he was in temporary charge following the sacking of Michael Beale, and his Belgian manager Philippe Clement, who has used him regularly since arriving in Scotland last month.   

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“To get this over the line is just amazing,” he said. “It was a pretty easy decision. There was talk of other clubs, but that wasn’t something that I had on my mind to be honest. I was just focusing on Rangers.

“I want to cement my place in the team every week. With the chances the gaffer has been giving me, I need to keep doing what I’m doing and taking on board all the feedback. Then I’ll have a strong chance.

“He says to me to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I’ve been doing well when I’ve been coming in and I need to look at what’s in front of me and what I need to work on. I’ve been working on that myself, physically, tactically, mentally. If I keep working on that hopefully it will stand me in good stead.”

Rangers Review: McCausland added: “He (Davis) is a good person to have to look up to. He is so well liked around the club. So to have him taking the interim role on was amazing and I was grateful for getting minutes against St Mirren and Limassol as well.

“We pretty much have the same things in common so to be able to reach out to him is good. When I was coming on in the St Mirren and Limassol games he just said, ‘Keep doing what you are doing in training’.

“Obviously I did that and getting those chances was really good. I think if you look at the silverware he has and the caps he has for Northern Ireland, that’s one of my goals.”

County Antrim-born McCausland watched Davis star for Rangers during their remarkable run to the Europa League final back in 2021 and was also in Seville when his compatriot featured against Eintracht Frankfurt.

He believes the current Ibrox side, who can progress to the knockout rounds of the competition if they manage to overcome Aris in Govan tonight, are capable of going all the way in this competition once again.

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“It was an inspiration to me,” he said. “I was at the majority of the games on that run and I was in Seville as well. Obviously if we were to do that this year, which I think we have a strong chance of doing, that would be amazing to be part of.

“At this club, we want to win every bit of silverware. That’s been a goal for the club for years and with what we have in front of us at the minute it’s achievable — and always will be.

"I don’t think the winning mentality ever disappeared. The change of manager does change things. I think obviously for the past month now you see a difference in how we are playing. But ultimately it’s a change of structure, a change of formation, and the different changes does boost the boys.

“Every day my confidence is just getting higher and higher. I think playing with top players every day is only going to make me better.”