KRIS Boyd has promised Rangers he will be a better player second time around after rescuing his career from "the road to nowhere".
Boyd finally put pen to paper on a one-year deal after a medical yesterday morning and became manager Ally McCoist's third summer signing after Kenny Miller and Darren McGregor. Boyd, who will be 31 in August, was wanted by Aberdeen and Dundee United and was close to moving to the north-east until Rangers opened discussions with him 11 days ago.
Boyd scored 128 goals in three-and-a-half seasons with Rangers before leaving for Middlesbrough in 2010. After subsequent moves to Nottingham Forest, Eskisehirspor in Turkey and Portland Timbers in America he began to fear his career was drifting into decline. Then his first club, Kilmarnock, signed him in 2013.
Last season he scored 22 times for them during an excellent campaign which restored his form and confidence. "I can't sit here and say I knew I was going to come back to Rangers one day," he said. "From where I was, I was probably on the road to nowhere at one point but I managed to get myself back together. I knew that once I came back to Kilmarnock and started scoring goals again there would be interest from clubs. I'm delighted to be here and I can't wait to get started."
His career started to deteriorate after he left Rangers and was no longer playing week in, week out, he said. "For someone like me I need to be sharp in front of goal to prove my worth to a team. I think in the end I was the cause of my own downfall. Once I was out of the team I took the easy option and instead of working hard and knuckling down to try to get back in it I just waited for the manager to put me back in.
"It's past now. I felt as if since I went to Turkey and America the penny dropped, I knew that scoring a goal in the first 10 minutes wasn't enough
to guarantee a start the following week.
"I don't really regret leaving Rangers when I did. I probably wouldn't be sitting here the person I am today, the player I am today,
if I hadn't gone. I feel as if I am a far better person for it. It's been a long, hard, two or three years. But what is two or three years out of your life in the long run? I feel as if
I am a totally different person now.
"I think I am more aware of the game. I'm not going to change. I'm not going to start dropping back 50 yards and taking four or five people on. [But] I have become more aware of the game. There were times before when I maybe scored one or two goals in the first 10 minutes and you would feel your job was done. You stop doing things for the team and I was just being pretty selfish probably. Now I feel you need to be a team player because football has changed and the game has changed so much. You need to help your teammates."
The deal to take him back to Rangers would have happened sooner had he and McCoist not both been on holiday. "I think it's well documented I'm a Rangers fan.
For me to come back it didn't take much persuasion, it's one that I didn't really
need to think a lot about. To be fair I could probably have joined any of them [the other clubs interested in him] at any time. That's how close it was. It came to the stage where I thought to myself I would have to join one of them, but as soon as I got the phone
call it was pretty straightforward from there. Once I spoke my mind was made up, there was only one place I was going.
"The big thing for us [Boyd and Miller, 34] is to get ourselves fit and see what happens from there. I might be four years on, but I'm only 30. I feel I still have three or four years left in me. I don't see why coming to Rangers shouldn't help my Scotland career. We came to an agreement that I will sign
for 12 months because the club is the
most important thing. Once we get back
up to the top league we can sit down and sort it out from there."