RYAN HARDIE hopes shooting Raith Rovers to safety can help him impress new Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha.
But the on-loan Ibrox youngster insists his primary motivation is just to secure the Kirkcaldy club’s future in the Championship.
Hardie, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Stark’s Park, returned to Rovers in January and is already the club’s top scorer with five league goals.
The Scotland under-21 cap will again carry the burden of trying to find the cutting edge needed against Morton on Saturday afternoon after Raith slipped worryingly into second-bottom spot with St Mirren’s win over ‘Ton on Tuesday.
But the 20-year-old insists he can be inspired by the expectations resting on his shoulders as manager John Hughes urges his players to revel in the challenge they face with just four matches remaining.
Hardie said: “If I can do well for Raith then of course it will help me back at Rangers.
“There’s obviously a new manager in there, so he’s got to assess everybody.
“I’m sure he’ll see that I’m out on loan and if I can score goals and help Raith stay up then it will only make him think positively about me.
“But I’ve come here to give my all to the team and give my best to the team. It doesn’t matter that I’ll be going back to Rangers at the end of the season.
“I’m in the situation with everyone else. I’ve got friends here and I’m playing to try to push myself on in my own career.
“It’s just as big a deal for me as it is for everybody else.
“The only thing I want to do now is make sure we win this weekend.”
Rovers have won only two of their last 23 matches to leave their second-tier status hanging by a thread.
They enjoy just a two-point advantage over bottom side Ayr United and have only four games to get out of second-bottom spot or face the nerve-jangling play-offs.
However, Hardie is taking heart from the fact they are unbeaten at home since Hughes took over from Gary Locke in February.
He added: “Of course we can be inspired by the situation we’re in.
“I would like to think that most players would rise to the challenge of having to win games when your career’s on the line.
“We’re not looking forward to it but everybody is right up for the challenge and hopefully a win against Morton will get us into a better situation.
“Ever since John Hughes came in we’ve not been beaten at home and we need to push on from that and hopefully use the home crowd to our advantage.
“Hopefully they can get behind us and try to spur us on.”