21 Jul 2010
Maurice Edu believes Rangers can prevail in the face of adversity by placing their faith in Walter Smith and his players.
Danny Wilson yesterday became the sixth player to leave Ibrox this summer after concluding a £2m transfer to Liverpool, leaving Rangers with only 15 senior professionals and the new season just three weeks away.
Edu joined up with the rest of the Rangers squad in Australia yesterday, where they will play three matches against Blackburn Rovers, Sydney FC, and AEK Athens, after being granted extended leave following his endeavours with the USA at the World Cup in South Africa.
The Californian hoped new signings would arrive shortly to fill out a lightweight squad, but felt that recent history showed he and his team-mates have what to takes to prosper even in the most trying of circumstances.
“We have a lot of trust in Walter and ourselves and if you don’t have that then you have no chance at success,” he said. “We are able to find ways to overcome different situations so hopefully we can get a couple of new players before the transfer window closes. With a thinner roster, it will also give our younger guys a chance to step up so more players will have an opportunity for more minutes. I’d love to rest a little more but I am really excited to get back to training and earning a starting spot as soon as possible.”
Kevin Thomson’s departure for Middlesbrough has opened up a berth in central midfield and Edu, yet to fully establish himself in a Rangers jersey, hopes to make an impression. “This is a big year for me since I was hurt a good part of the year last year and missed out on the Champions League.
“It’s funny, this is actually my first full pre-season at Rangers because I was at the Olympics my first year before joining the club and then last year I had the injury, so I’m eager to get started.”
Edu was injured when Rangers limped tamely out of the Champions League last season and so is relishing the prospect of his first crack at the tournament this year when Smith’s side again enter at the group phase.
“No doubt that the World Cup is tops for me considering it’s every four years and there are no guarantees about who makes the squad, but the Champions League is a close second,” he added.
“It was disappointing to not play in it last year. The hardest part was watching, being injured knowing I couldn’t be out there helping the team. Just the experience of going up against the likes of Arsenal, Barcelona, Milan or Bayern Munich would be unbelievable. I couldn’t be more excited.”
Edu admits harbouring mixed feelings about how things transpired. “It’s been really good being back home and seeing the reaction from the country,” the 24 year-old told Yanks Abroad. “I think the World Cup was good for soccer in the US and it made some progress so we’re proud of that. But at the same time, we felt like we could have won the Ghana match and made it further so that was disappointing.”