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GERRARD’S HOPE FOR McGREGOR

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STEVEN GERRARD is eager to persuade veteran keeper Allan McGregor to sign a new deal at Rangers.

The 39-year-old former Scotland international No.1 underlined his importance to the team with a breathtaking last-gasp save in the 1-1 Europa League stalemate with Slavia Prague.

McGregor’s swoop at his left-hand post to claw away Lukas Masopust’s header has edged the Ibrox club to within 90 minutes of the last eight of the competition.

Gerrard, speaking to the Scottish Sun, said: “I’ve spoken about it before, how much we rate Allan, how much we love him here, how much we want to carry on.

“At the same time, I’ve told you guys I will respect him. He knows what’s on the table. He’s in discussions with the club and from where I’m sitting, I hope we get it over the line and sign him up for another year because he is more than capable.

“I know that on a daily basis by working with him and watching him closely. The decision is going to be down to Allan, not us. Because we certainly want him.”

Gerrard saw his team go a goal down after only six minutes with his shotstopper left helpless by an arcing angled drive from Nicolae Stanciu. But they fought back to claim a crucial equaliser through Filip Helander before half-time following a free-kick.

NUMBER ONE…Allan McGregor is out of contract in the summer.

The Govan gaffer added: “I thought there were a few big, pivotal moments in the game and opportunities for both sides to get the winner. Allan has come big for us again and it is a top, top save to get it back and drag it back into his grasp. It was another world class save.

“But this is a difficult place to come, we were playing against a real powerful, strong team and they like to play at a real high intensity.

“I think that shocked us a bit at the beginning – not in terms of our preparation because we knew it was coming – but after the week we’ve had they certainly came out of the blocks quicker.“ But once we settled into the game we did more than enough to get back into it. If anything we more than matched them from that point until the end.

“So I think it’s a fair result over the 90 minutes and the tie is finely balanced now.

“I think over the 90 minutes we certainly deserved it. Connor Goldson could have scored another goal for us and we also had some good opportunities on the break bursting into the box. Overall I have no complaints with the result and it’s all set up for a fantastic game next week.”

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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