Rangers captain slams 'unjust' Allan McGregor criticism and insists under-fire goalkeeper has backing of team-mates
Having operated as long as he has amid the unrelenting and regularly irrational scrutiny which is a job requirement of playing for Rangers, Allan McGregor is likely to be utterly unfazed by the recent denunciation of his form by some of the club’s support.
The veteran goalkeeper has never been someone who gives any credence to public approval ratings in a sport where they fluctate so wildly. Just as McGregor would have shrugged off the lavish praise which came his way last season when he was named the Scottish Premiership Player of the Year, he will be equally unaffected by the question marks raised over his role in some of the recent setbacks experienced by Rangers in the title race.
Most significantly for the 40-year-old, he retains the faith of both his manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst and his team-mates. Van Bronckhorst rebuffed criticism of McGregor in the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Motherwell at Ibrox and now Rangers captain James Tavernier has mounted his own robust defence of the former Scotland number one.
"I think it is unjust,” said Tavernier. “Greegsy is a top, top keeper for us and has been a top keeper since he came back to us. Look at the Borussia Dortmund game in midweek, and even the one before that, and the scoreline might not have been what it was without Greegsy pulling off the saves.
"He has pulled off massive saves for us in the past. He obviously can’t stop all the goals but we are in it as a team. We concede goals together and score goals together and all the lads have got the full backing of Greegsy when he is in the net. They are relying on him and he is a big leader in the team. He has got all our backing.”
With Rangers three points behind Celtic going into the final 10 rounds of fixtures, Tavernier believes the champions – who face St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park on Wednesday - can afford no more slip-ups if they are to retain their title.
“We have got ten games left and they have to be perfect,” he said. “We have slipped up in the past two games so we will learn from that and we don’t want that to come into our play any more”.
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