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JOHN FLECK has told how Nacho Novo handed him a surprise leaving present when he quit Rangers last month.

 

His No10 jersey.

 

 

Fleck, 18, has worn No29 since breaking into the Ibrox first team.

 

 

But Novo was desperate for him to have his prized shirt when he left Scotland for Sporting Gijon.

 

 

Fleck said: "I didn't ask for the number. I didn't go and knock on anyone's door.

 

 

"Nacho told the kit man he wanted me to have it. I wanted it and I'm happy to have it.

 

 

"I've always worn ten in the youth team, all the way up, so it's great for me to have it now Nacho's away.

 

 

"It was a great thing for him to do.

 

 

"Hopefully I can keep it. I don't think it will put extra pressure on me, wearing that jersey. I am willing to stand up and fill it, but it's just a number at the end of the day.

 

 

"It wouldn't matter if I had 50 on my back, I'd still give everything.

 

 

"I haven't set a target for number of games, just more than last year.

 

 

"I feel a lot fitter and stronger, so hopefully that will help."

 

 

Fleck has been the next big thing at Rangers for a couple of years now.

 

 

What people forget is that he's still only a teenager - he doesn't turn 19 until next month.

 

 

The attacker said: "I've been about for the last couple of seasons and I should've done more than I have.

 

 

"But I don't think anything stopped me.

 

 

"The manager just knew what he was doing with me, when to play me and when to leave me out.

 

 

"I've got to accept he made the right decisions for me.

 

 

"It's obviously hard when you do well and then have a dip.

 

 

"There's been a lot of expectation around me since before I even made the first team. But I just let it all wash over me.

 

 

"To be honest, I think people sometimes expect too much of me. Maybe they do forget how young I am, because I've come into the first team at a young age.

 

 

"I've obviously done well enough to get my chance. I have to take it.

 

 

"This season is not any more important than any other one for me."

 

 

This time last year Fleck was dropped from the top side - a harsh reminder to the youngster that he needed to buck up his ideas.

 

 

He added: "It was bad at the time, but I can see now it stood me in good stead.

 

 

"Obviously a few things like that happened last term. But we've put it past us and it's all good now. It was tough to be left out, difficult to go back to the reserves when you've been with the first team.

 

 

"The boss took me aside and spoke to me quietly when he dropped me

 

"There was nothing harsh, just a quiet word and that was it. Obviously he's the best man to make these decisions and explain them.

 

 

"It's hard to keep your focus when you break into the side.

 

 

"That's what the manager is there for, to keep you in or take you out when he feels it's the right time, whether you feel you're playing well or not."

 

 

Fleck is with the same agency as Danny Wilson, who this month quit Gers and agreed a �£5million move to Liverpool.

 

 

There was a time when it seemed Fleck also wanted out of Ibrox. But he nailed his colours to the mast by signing a new deal.

 

 

Fleck added: "I'm really happy to play here. I've signed my contract and I'm happy with that.

 

 

"Danny's left and he feels that's best for him. Good on him, good luck to him.

 

 

"But for me, I'm a Gers fan and I'd rather stay here and try to get a game.

 

 

"All the boys are doing well. I'm saying they're boys, but they're all older than me, guys like Jordan McMillan and Andy Little.

 

 

"They're all doing great and hopefully they'll get their chance, same as me."

 

 

 

Read more: http://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/sport/spl/3074544/Perfect-10.html#ixzz0v7fFDHrp

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He speaks well, does the lad. I hope this year can be his real breakthrough year. If he's played in a traditional number 10 position I think we'll see a truly special talent emerge.

 

i hope he gets the chance to.

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