ZAK RUDDEN insists he would far rather be embroiled in a relegation battle with Falkirk than face the cream of Europe and England with Rangers.
The 19-year-old will head into Saturday afternoon’s crucial clash with Morton relishing the fight to keep the Bairns in the Championship.
With 12 goals to his name so far, the on-loan Ibrox youngster will have played his part if Ray McKinnon’s side do beat the drop.
And, despite the nerve-shredding action that has seen Falkirk sit in the relegation zone for most of the season, the Scotland under-19 cap is adamant he would not have things any other way.
Having been part of the Rangers development squad that took on the likes of Bayern Munich, Benfica, Valencia, Villarreal, FC Copenhagen, Leicester City and Liverpool last season, Rudden believes Falkirk’s struggles with Alloa Athletic, Partick Thistle, Queen of the South and Morton are far better.
He said: “It’s interesting and good for my development to be involved in this at the moment with Falkirk.
“I’m going to go back to Rangers and hopefully try to get a chance in the first-team for next season.
“Rangers won’t be dealing with this kind of situation, possibly being relegated, but for me having to battle is brilliant. I’m thriving on it.
“I’m so glad I’m not playing reserve football or under-20 football because I don’t think that suits me.
“I did it for three years and I jumped at the chance to get out on loan this season. I had to go out and experience this and I’m loving every minute of it.
“Last season I was involved when Rangers played a lot of friendlies. It was good, it helped, but it never really had that edge to it.
“This is much better. For me, and for my development, this is great. I had played at my own age and this was the next step for me. I had to go on and experience this.
“We played teams like Benfica and Bayern Munich, some really big clubs. But, for me, I would rather be doing this than playing reserve football.”
Falkirk got themselves off the foot of the Championship with last weekend’s 1-0 victory over bitter rivals Dunfermline.
But, with just four points separating the bottom five teams going into the last three games of an incredible season, Rudden knows every point is precious.
He added: “It’s a massive game, all our games are massive at the moment, but we just need to try to get out of it and it’s going to be a good game.
“It makes it better for us that there are so many teams involved but we can’t rely on results going our way, we just need to focus on ourselves and try to climb up the table as best we can.”