Goldson keen to topple ‘big lad’ Ikpeazu when Rangers face Hearts

Connor Goldson has done well to forget his last meeting with Hearts frontman Uche Ikpeazu – but he hopes it will be Rangers who come out with a result to remember on Sunday.

The former Brighton defender has squared up to the “massive” Jambos striker once before when they were both plying their trades in England’s lower leagues.

But the details of the meeting in April 2014 escaped the 25-year-old as he met the media on Friday.

And no wonder that memory was allowed to slip, with Ikpeazu getting the better of the then Shrewsbury centre-back as he netted in a 3-1 win for Crewe.

The new Tynecastle favourite is an injury doubt for Craig Levein’s Ladbrokes Premiership leaders ahead of this weekend’s trip to Ibrox.

But if Ikpeazu does get the all-clear to take on Steven Gerrard’s side, Goldson is determined to get the better of him this time.

He said: “We’ll see how it goes, he’s a big lad. I’ve played against him before in League One when I was at Shrewsbury and I think he was only about 16 then and the same size. He hasn’t got any smaller, he’s massive.

“I can’t remember how the game went. I just remember looking at him and thinking, ‘You’re a big boy’.

“It is a game of football and we need to show Hearts respect, they are top of the league but at the same time they are coming to Ibrox and we know if we perform to our level, with our crowd behind us then we have a good chance.

“We have to show them more respect than concentrating on one player, they are obviously a good side and they are flying at the moment, winning games of football every week and not conceding many goals.

“It is a whole XI but Uche is doing well, as is Steven Naismith up front, so it will be a good test and we are looking forward to it.”

Goldson was part of the Rangers XI who had Ibrox rocking on Thursday night as they claimed the impressive Europa League scalp of Rapid Vienna.

The Wolverhampton-born player claimed he had never experienced an atmosphere like it.

Now he wants to see a repeat performance from the fans as his side look to trim back their eight-point deficit on the table-toppers.

“Thursday night was big – it was up there with biggest moments in my career,” he said. “The atmosphere was probably the best I have played in.

“There was a few earlier on in the competition, like against Maribor in the second half but that last night for the final 10 minutes of the game was the best I have ever experienced.

“It shows that when we put that level of performance on that the fans are going to come with us. That is what it needs, we did it yesterday from the first whistle and we carried it on throughout the game.

“We just need to start the game against Hearts at that tempo and when the crowd come with us you can see how much it drives the team on to go and perform better.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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