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Todd Cantwell welcomes Rangers tough tackling rivals despite injury woes as he names ultimate 'compliment'

Given the ferocity of the tackles Todd Cantwell has had to deal with this season, the Rangers ace has every reason to suspect some of his Premiership rivals hold a grudge where he’s concerned.

But that’s not how he sees it. In fact, the Ibrox playmaker has looked at the list of opponents this season who have opted to get physical and decided to take it as a compliment. The 26-year-old’s had plenty of bumps and bruises to deal following brushes with adversaries desperate to put the shackles on him.

A challenge from Celtic’s Odin Thiago Holm in the dying seconds of the opening Old Firm clash of the season ruled him out for six weeks of action. He hobbled off hurt at Easter Road too after being double-teamed by Hibs’ pair Elie Youan and Kanayo Megwa - but only after scoring a screamer in Leith. Boss Philippe Clement, however, decided enough was enough when St Johnstone midfielder David Keltjens put in another meaty reducer on his talisman in Perth a couple of weeks later as he appealed for referees to give him more protection.

But Cantwell is going to have roll with the punches again this weekend as Rangers look to land a blow of their own in this weekend’s all important Ibrox derby scrap. “It is a compliment,” he smiled. “It always has been.

“Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always been the player who gets tackled a lot and it is the way I play football, I know that. The manager has made it clear that he doesn’t want to change the way I play, but at times I can maybe be a little bit smarter and protect myself as well.

“That is another learning curve for me as well. I think it is something I have probably had most of my career. I am the sort of player who probably invites tackles with my dribbling and the way I like to

Read more on dailyrecord.co.uk