Cyriel Dessers admits his Rangers style isn't pretty as 20 goal hitman offers up life lesson to serial snipers

Cyriel Dessers is the first to admit that when it comes to his skills as a striker, he’s not the easiest on the eye.

But the Rangers ace also reckons the beauty of his game runs far deeper than the 20 goals he’s contributed to the Ibrox cause this season. The Nigeria international has been an easy target for the blue boo boys at times this season with his nasty habit of missing as many chances as he takes.

But if Philippe Clement’s team end up sitting pretty at the top of the Premiership come the end of the season, no-one can deny he’ll have made a major contribution. There were no ugly misses this time in Paisley as he reached his latest goal milestone with a crucial winner against St Mirren. It was gorgeous move to unlock Stephen Robinson’s team, with James Tavernier’s devastating cross taking Saints No Zach Hemming and defender James Bolton out of the equation as Dessers was left with the simplest of headers.

Boss Clement, however, was just as pleased with the 29-year-old’s contribution outside of the box as he praised the £4.5million recruit for digging in to get Gers over the line. And Dessers reckons those are the subtle features of his game that sometime get overlooked.

Asked if he was happy to hit the 20-mark, the Rangers’ blue-eyed boy said: “Obviously. To score 20 is a beautiful number. I looked it up last week after someone told me [I was close].

“Not a lot of Rangers strikers haver got to those numbers in the last few years. So it’s a nice milestone for me. It’s a good feeling to reach that mark. “But it’s all about the win.

“I would be equally as happy if someone else had scored that goal. But just to get a result against a difficult team, on a difficult pitch, should give us confidence. It has to give us a boost to keep going in these next four games in the league.

“Have I rammed the critics words back down their throats? That’s up to other people to answer that. But I said it before. I wasn’t just talking to talk at that point.

“I know that throughout my career that if I play minutes, if I play games, I’m always going to score goals. I’m a striker who maybe on the eye isn’t the most beautiful striker or the most clean striker.

“I think with me, as a striker, it’s easy to see what’s not there. But as I am in life, and I think this is a good lesson for everybody, I love to look at what’s there, what you get out of me and what I can do for the team.

“If you look only, then the numbers speak for themselves. But I’m not only talking about that. I’m talking about winning the battles with the defenders. About running. Last week I broke my record for high-intensity runs, for sprints.

“To do all of this for the team is of the same importance as scoring goals. These are the things people in the stands or on social media don’t see immediately but they are there and they benefit the team. So it’s about more than just the goals but I’m of course very happy to reach that number. But I want more!”

It’s a couple of months since Dessers revealed he’d set himself a target of 25 strikes and assists this season. He’s already smashed past that benchmark, with 28 goal involvements in total.

Now he’s re-adjusting his aims for the campaign as Gers gear up for the tense Premiership run-in and next month’s Scottish Cup final. I think there is more to come from me,” he declared. “I don’t think I have got to my top form yet or the best I can be.

“Maybe it’s going to come in the next month, maybe it’s going to be in next season. But I’m sure there’s even more from me.
“I am hoping to show that as soon as possible.”

Dessers was the Hampden hero last week as his double killed off Hearts to set up next month’s final showdown against Celtic. And he’s delighted it’s his goal that is keeping the Ibrox side in the hunt for Premiership glory.

Asked if his SMISA Stadium winner was the biggest of his Gers career so far, he said: “I think so. As we’re nearing the end of the season, you feel the importance of every single game.

“It was important to start the play-offs with a win. So in those terms it was an important goal.

“I don’t think it was an easy game for us. But we knew that before we came here. St Mirren are a good team, a solid team with a good game plan. They made it very difficult for us.

“Jack Butland saved us a couple of times in the first half but I think we came through it and the second half, we were a little more aggressive. We won more of the battles in the midfield and second balls.

“You know your have to be patient. We know we’re really fit and that the moments would come. We waited for that and thankfully it came.

“Scoring goals is the reason Rangers bought me. They paid quite some money and these things were there.

“I just had to get them out and I am happy to score this goal on an important moment. It’s only the beginning of the play-offs and it’s an important statement. But we know there is a lot of work to do and a lot more to come.”

Like Dessers, James Tavernier has had to stare down critics in recent weeks as the wheels came off their title push at Ross County and Dundee. But he refused to blink yesterday when it counted, sending off a peach of a cross for Dessers’ goal.

“It’s not the first time Tav gives a cross like that,” said the matchwinner. “That’s his quality, he can do it.

“He can decide a game with one cross and that’s what he did today. As a striker you need to make the good movement in the box and be there in the right moment to score the goal.”