ANDY Goram has backed Cammy Bell to be a successful Rangers goalkeeper but has warned the 26-year-old that he will find it tougher to be a stand-out for the Ibrox club than he was to be one playing against them.
Bell has signed a pre-contract deal to move to Ibrox from Kilmarnock this summer and will be one of the first recruits when Rangers’ signing embargo is lifted on 1 September.
Goram believes Bell has earned the move through his performance levels against the Old Firm in recent seasons and sees similarities with his own career, which saw him become one of the most acclaimed goalkeepers in Rangers history.
“Cammy will be in the same situation as I was when I moved to Rangers from Hibs,” said Goram. “He has been great for Kilmarnock against Rangers and Celtic. The difference when he moves to Rangers is that he won’t be getting many man of the match awards any more, because he will have a lot less to do.
“When you play for teams outwith the Old Firm, you are making eight or nine saves in a game. If you make a mistake, it can be covered up by the saves you make because you keep your team in the game.
“At Rangers, it’s the other way around. If you only have one save to make in a game and don’t make it, then you are panned. So that will be the big difference for Cammy.
“From what I’ve seen, he’s got everything. He is agile, a good build for a goalkeeper, decent with the ball at his feet and can make that magic save which gets you off your seat. I’m looking forward to seeing him at Rangers. I’ve never met him but everyone says he’s a great character. It’s a perfect opportunity for him.”
Goram endured his own teething problems at Rangers, making a series of high-profile errors early on, and says Bell will have to handle the high expectations of the support.
“I made plenty of mistakes at Rangers but I got away with it,” added Goram.
“In my first few months, I was to blame for getting knocked out of the European Cup by Sparta Prague, got us beat in the League Cup semi-final against Hibs and had a nightmare against Hearts at Tynecastle when Scott Crabbe scored from around 50 yards against me.
“I was taking over from Chris Woods, which wasn’t easy. It was the same for Stefan Klos when he came in after me. You have to win the fans over. I was just glad my mistakes came early on and I got good advice on how to deal with the situation.
“I remember Pat Bonner, for one, was different class with me. After my first Old Firm game, he pulled me aside in the players’ lounge afterwards where all the boys from Rangers and Celtic used to mingle after games.
“Pat just told me to get my head down and work hard. He said if I did that, I’d be fine. A few years later, after I’d done so well for Rangers, he said he wished he had never spoken to me! He’s a great man, I don’t think too many would give out advice to their opposite number in the Old Firm.”