Allan McGregor makes Rangers 'hunger' call as keeper prepares to play part on and off the park at Ibrox

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Allan McGregor
Allan McGregor

ALLAN MCGREGOR soaked up every second and cherished each occasion throughout a campaign that will leave long in the memory at Ibrox.

And the keeper admits the desire to relive those experiences and realise more dreams in the game were key driving factors behind his decision to pull on his gloves for another campaign.

The closing weeks of the season were littered with moments - from Europa League defeat to Scottish Cup glory - that will form key parts of McGregor's legacy when he hangs up his boots. That time is not now, though.

At 40, he still has ambitions to achieve. Time will tell how much game time comes his way, but McGregor couldn't resist the urge to have one more crack at the Premiership and the Champions League.

On Monday, he put pen-to-paper on a new Ibrox deal. Next week, he will report for pre-season training at Auchenhowie as Giovanni van Bronckhorst's side get off and running this term.

It looked like McGregor had seen his last shot at European action come and go in Seville. When he paraded the silverware at Hampden, it seemed as though he was bowing out in style.

So, did the highs and lows of last season have any bearing on his decision? For McGregor, the answer is no.

“Not really," he said. "You just need to use that as an experience and go and try to push on again this season - and win every game again. So no I don’t think it really had a bearing on it, no.

“After the first few days I wasn’t really thinking about anything.

“Then I went on holiday, spoke to a few folk and did reflect [on things]. I felt I did take more in when we won games last season.

“Looking back on it, it was great, with some great nights and great atmospheres. As a player, you always want to play in games like that."

The coming days and weeks will determine just how important a role McGregor has to play in the months to follow and one of Van Bronckhorst's first decisions this term will prove to be amongst his most significant.

He must choose between McGregor and Jon McLaughlin and the battle for the number one jersey will be even more closely fought this time around than it has been previously.

It is a fight that McGregor is more than up for. If he wasn't, he wouldn't have signed on for another season.

“I don’t think you ever lose it to be honest with you," McGregor said when asked where the hunger to keep playing on comes from.

“Even the competitiveness when you’re older, when you’re 50-odd, I don’t think you’ll ever lose it. You can’t lose it when you’re a player at a club that needs to win every time."

The news that McGregor had confirmed his intention to play on and then completed the paperwork at Ibrox was met with a largely mixed reaction by supporters.

There should always be a respect for what has gone before, but Van Bronckhorst can't allow sentiment to rule as he aims to deliver success in the future.

The core of the squad from recent seasons will remain in place once again and McGregor follows Scott Arfield, Steven Davis and Connor Goldson in signing on the dotted line this summer.

McGregor said: “Old guys you mean? It’s great that the three of them signed again. A lot of us spoke about it together last year.

“Obviously I was trying to concentrate on the games but you always got the wee five-minute conversation - ‘What do you think? What you doing?’

"Things like that. It’s great that everyone has signed again.

“At most clubs there is a good core of people, experienced guys who try to help new players and young guys anyway we can. So I think there’s a good group here."

There will be times this season where McGregor is not needed as often and is not as influential on the park. His presence will still be crucial, though.

Few players, if anyone at Ibrox, epitomise and understand Rangers like McGregor. As a presence at the club, he still has a key role to play.

“I think when the time is needed, aye," McGregor told RangersTV of his influence on the next generation. “But I want to do that to try to help them.

“I want to do that because if it helps them it will benefit the club as well. So I do try to do that when it’s needed."

Those leadership qualities are honed over time, such a position of influence earned through seasons of success at a club where winning is all that matters.

McGregor saw David Weir perform that role of elder statesman with aplomb during his first spell at Ibrox and takes inspiration from the former Rangers captain.

But he also thinks even further back in time to the impact that his formative years had on him and his ability to keep performing as he approaches his 41st birthday next January.

McGregor said: “It was more that I watched him, to be honest. We spoke now and again about what he did in the gym. But it was more about me watching him every morning.

“I took all that on board. It just helps me, it feel better after doing it, so why not?

“I have thought about that [injury I had]. I took me years to break through and I did have a bad injury at 17. I was out for 18 months.

“It maybe does give you that extra hunger and willingness to keep going on. I don’t know for sure but it probably does.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting