BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Sons skipper Darren Barr insists his move to Dumbarton has given him a new lease of life as he aims to shackle rampant Rangers.
The 30-year-old played just six times for Ross County last season after his campaign was abruptly ended by a devastating cruciate knee ligament injury.
Prior to that, his one-year stint with Kilmarnock was marred by fitness woes as he battled a persistent neck and hip complaints.
However, Dumbarton boss Stevie Aitken took a punt on the one-time Scotland internationalist and has been lavishly rewarded so far, with the cutured defender playing in all-but one of their Championship games this season.
Having endured a torrid two years, Barr is relishing his run of regular football – albeit his sternest test will undoubtedly arrive when the Gers visit the Rock this afternoon.
The former Hearts and Falkirk told Capital City Press: “This is a great fixture but, being honest, I appreciate playing in any game after the season I just had.
“People talk about playing against the big teams – I just want to play football.
“I don’t take any match lightly and, with the injuries I went through, every game is a huge one for me. I’m giving 100 per cent, getting fitter and enjoying every minute I get on the pitch.
“Touch wood, things are going well and this has been a great move for me. Dumbarton have given me a chance and I want to repay them for that.”
Barr’s prime objective this afternoon will be to find a way to halt Martyn Waghorn’s fine scoring streak.
He has plundered six goals in his last four matches and is the Championship’s top scorer, two ahead of his teammate – and full-back – Lee Wallace.
Never one to shy away from a challenge, the 2012 Scottish Cup winner is ready to step unto the plate.
Barr continued: “You want to test yourself against the best players and, at this level, he’s definitely one of the better strikers. I’m really looking forward to it.
“It’s a great challenge. When a player is scoring goals and when a team is going well, it just gives you more motivation to try and stump them.
“Rangers are going brilliantly this year, but we won’t approach the game with any fear. We think we have a good squad and we have belief going into every game we play.”
Having only arrived in the close season, Barr was a shock choice for the Dumbarton captaincy, however he appears to have grown into the role as a new-look Sons side teethes.
He added: “You would need to ask the other boys how I’m doing in the job! I’m certainly trying to do well and I’m giving my all to the role and hopefully that will be reflected in a few good results.”