Kirk Broadfoot reckons long-serving stars Allan McGregor and Steven Davis will both be crucial for Rangers not only in Sunday’s Old Firm clash but also in the vital domestic and Europa League run-in.
The former Gers star believes the experience of the veteran keeper and Northern Ireland star will be massive going into the final push, starting with the table-topping clash with Celtic.
Broadfoot played with them both in their first spell at Rangers and thinks they have shown that age is only a number.
Davis, 37, has had niggling injuries but still produced for his country this week.
Broadfoot thinks the Light Blues should be looking to extend their deals if McGregor, 40, and Davis want to play on.
Broadfoot said: “Allan has been unbelievable not only this season but in his entire time at Rangers.
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“Steven has been exactly the same. I know he has had a couple of injuries this season but that’s the only thing that has stopped him.
“These guys have shown on the park they can contribute and especially in the big games.
“Sunday is another of those where Rangers will be looking to draw level with Celtic at the top and the experience of both could be vital.
“They have been there and done it and know what it takes to get over the line in these games. Giovanni van Bronckhorst will also know that.
“Also, in terms of fitness and being able to play at that top level, I don’t either can be questioned.
“If they both wanted to stay at Rangers, which I am sure they do, then it would be a no-brainer for the club to keep them. They could have another season or two in them.”
McGregor came under fire for some costly mistakes but Inverness defender Broadfoot is adamant they have been very much in the minority.
He knows that his old team-mate always produces when it matters and he has shown that in Rangers’ Europa League run, producing match-winning displays against Borussia Dortmund and Red Star Belgrade.
Broadfoot insisted: “Every goalkeeper makes mistakes. People just look at Allan’s age and question him because he has made a couple of mistakes but that is wrong.
“All the top goalkeepers in the world make mistakes. It doesn’t matter if you are 28 or 40 you will still make mistakes.
“It is easy to look at the mistakes but do these same people who criticize him look at the bigger picture? Look how many times he has saved Rangers this season.
“Look at some of the saves he has also made in Europe recently and especially the first leg of the Red Star Belgrade game where he saved the penalty.
“He was the best player on the park by a mile and Allan is still providing himself at the top level.”
Broadfoot is also in the autumn of his career but thinks McGregor and Davis would be mad to hang up the gloves and boots, respectively, come the summer – especially if Rangers were to reclaim their title.
The centre-half said: “Everybody has told me that you should play as long as you can and I am sure they will have had the same advice.
“When I played with them they trained the way they played. They gave 100 per cent every day and I am led to believe that they are still like that.
“That has stood them in good stead throughout their careers.
“And when it comes to Steven you also need to look at the number of international games he has played – and he is still playing.
“I definitely think they have both got a bit left in the tank.”
Broadfoot knows Rangers will eventually need to look forward and that when the pair do decide to call time it will cause boss van Bronckhorst a major issue both on and off the park. He believes it will be an awful lot harder than just bringing in another keeper and midfielder.
He knows the duo offer so much more in terms of their presence, experience and leadership as Rangers prepare for another big run-in with games against Celtic in the league and Cup that could decide their season, along with two big Europa League knockout ties with SC Braga.
Kirk said: “They will be big losses to Rangers when they go.
“There will be a massive hole to fill as they know the demands of Rangers and what it takes to be a winner at the very top of Scottish football.
“They might not play as many games next season – although I don’t see any reason why they can’t – but just having them around as these guys know all about Rangers and what it takes to play there.
“That is important to have especially for the younger boys and the new guys who might come in over the summer.
“Look at last season, when Rangers won the league. Steven was named the Football Writers’ player of the year and with no fans in the stands then, he would have been one of the leaders pushing on that Rangers team from the pitch to the dressing room.
“You know that when Allan and Steven decide to go they will want to go on their terms and as winners with Rangers.”