Jon McLaughlin opens up on becoming Rangers’ No 1 and has say on Allan McGregor

But McLaughlin insists he has no idea whether McGregor, still Rangers’ first choice goalkeeper at the age of 40, will carry on when his own current deal expires in June.

For 35-year-old McLaughlin, set to make his 25th appearance for Rangers in their Scottish Cup tie at Annan on Saturday, his own ambition to become the regular number one for the Ibrox club is not predicated on any anticipation of McGregor’s retirement.

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“I think Allan could go on forever if he wanted to!,” smiled McLaughlin. “But we’ve not had any genuine conversations about it.

Jon McLaughlin (left) believes Allan McGregor (right) could continue playing for Rangers beyond the end of this season. (Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group)

“Of course I want to play, I want to become a first choice regular at this club. That’s my aim as it would be for any player.

“But it’s not about replacing anyone or taking someone else’s place. If Allan was to stay at Rangers, then I along with everyone else would be delighted.

“It’s not about me wanting (him to leave) to give me a better chance. That’s not how I want things to work.

“So it wasn’t a case of me knowing what Allan’s plans are for the future. It was about knowing I’m at a great football club, where I’m happy playing my football and working right now.

Jon McLaughlin is expected to start in goal for Rangers when they face Annan Athletic in their Scottish Cup fifth round tie on Saturday. (Photo by Alan Harvey/SNS Group)

“I can see a good future for myself here regardless of who else is in the building. Allan’s had an amazing career and if that does continue, then myself and everyone else will be delighted. But we’ll wait and see after this season.”

McGregor suffered a rare off-day in Rangers’ recent 3-3 draw with Ross County in Dingwall, when he was at fault for two goals, but bounced back with a stellar display at Celtic Park which spared his team from a much heavier margin of defeat than the 3-0 final scoreline and has followed that up with clean sheets in the wins over Hearts and Hibs.

“A goalkeeper of his caliber, it doesn’t happen very often,” said McLaughlin. “He’s not someone who needs to be told if he’s not performed to his best ability.

“He is his own harshest critic. That’s why he’s such a good goalkeeper, because of his consistency and ability to move on very quickly from each performance – good or bad.

“That’s always going to be the mark of a top goalkeeper, which he is. Far be it from me or anyone else to tell him where he’s going wrong or how he can improve.

“He’s had an incredible career and showed last season by winning the Premiership Player of the Year award that he is well capable of handling his own business. He’s a very good, consistent goalkeeper and he’s going to continue for the rest of the season, I’m sure.

“Everyone was hurt after the Old Firm game. In the last couple of games, you’ve seen a real reaction from everybody. That was very pleasing for everybody and will get that confidence back into the side. We will try and keep that going on Saturday, it’s important to keep that winning feeling.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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