McGregor Has What It Takes to Join Goalie Greats at Rangers, Says Smith; Stepping to It: Velicka Works Hard to Impress Yesterday

Article excerpt

Byline: MARK WILSON

WALTER SMITH thinks Allan McGregor can elevate himself alongside AndyGoram and Chris Woods as a goalkeeping great at Rangers.

The Ibrox manager was delighted when McGregor signed an improved five-yearcontract earlier this summer, following speculation that Newcastle and Spurswere lining up [pounds sterling]6million bids for the 26-year-old.

McGregor is in the final stages of his rehabilitation from an ankle injury andis expected to return to the side when Rangers resume friendly matches inScotland following their current tour of Germany.

Stand-in Neil Alexander has acquitted himself well but Smith believes McGregorstill has untapped potential to build upon his excellent form of last season.

'It was a huge boost for us when Allan signed on,' insisted the Rangers boss.'When something like that happens, it's almost like a new signing.

'We're delighted to get Allan tied down and now we just need to get him backfit. I worked with Chris Woods and Andy Goram and there's no doubt Allan hasthe class and ability to join that unique club. He can be as good as them.

'Allan had to wait a while for his chance at Rangers and even went out on loan.But, since getting the jersey, he hasn't looked back.

'There is no doubt that last season he started to fulfil some of his potential.

We always thought he would be a really good goalkeeper and that's how it'sturning out.

'It was a shame he got injured towards the tail end of last season. I don'tthink Allan will play any games in Germany, it will just be about getting himfit. …