Cammy Bell has credited Jim Jefferies for sticking by him at the start of his career, writes Graeme Macpherson.
The Rangers goalkeeper worked under Jefferies at Kilmarnock and thanked the veteran manager for retaining faith in him, even when injury led him to spend extended spells on the sidelines.
The pair will be reunited at Ibrox this evening when Bell will look to help knock Jefferies' Dunfermline Athletic side out of the William Hill Scottish Cup but the 27-year-old will always be grateful for the support shown by Jefferies in those early days.
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"Jim has played a massive part in getting me to where I am," he said. "He showed great faith in me at Kilmarnock. Some people thought we didn't get on because he rarely played me. But I was injured a lot. He showed faith by continuing to give me contracts.
"A lot of people don't really know that. I had a spell for about a year and a half when I didn't play a game - not even a youth team game. But Jim still gave me a deal. That shows that he saw great potential in me. He always spoke to me about my situation and I know he held me in high regard. I can only thank Jim for that and it's no surprise to me that he's had a great managerial career."
Rangers have comfortably beaten Dunfermline twice in the league this season but Bell still expects a fiery cup tie. "I'm sure Jim will have his team fired up - the same as he always does. Dunfermline were flying into tackles in their last game against us at Ibrox. But we rolled our sleeves up and got a result. Hopefully we can showcase our actual football talent and that will take us through to the next round."