Glasgow Rangers will be well aware of the scale of the task at hand when they travel to Paisley to take on St. Mirren in the Scottish Premiership on Wednesday afternoon.
Steven Gerrard will be hoping his side can exorcise their demons after they crashed out of the Betfred Cup when they were humbled by the Saints.
The game gets underway at the Simple Digital Arena at 3pm and despite John Goodwin’s side being below them in the table, there’s no doubt the 54-time Scottish champions could have a fight on their hands.
It’s likely that the Ibrox boss will be without both Scott Arfield and Ryan Jack tomorrow, with the latter ruled out of action due to injury. The Gers have conceded four goals in their past five games across all competitions but with just three centre-backs competing for two places in the starting XI, Gerrard will have to find a different solution to fix his problems at the back.
Allan McGregor has been Gerrard’s trusted man for as long as we can possibly remember but Jon McLaughlin may be pushing for a recall.
If the 33-year-old 6 ft 3 in colossus can put in a solid shift between the sticks, he could be the man to stop the Saints from scoring, having been left as an unused substitute on the bench in the Scottish League Cup.
The Scottish international has been in decent form this season, providing nine clean sheets and conceding just two goals in the Premiership so far, via Transfermarkt. Despite his impressive performances, McLaughlin has made just nine starts in the Premiership this season as he finds himself below McGregor in the pecking order.
Keeping another clean sheet could improve his chances of being named in Scotland’s Euro 2020 squad and help Rangers to extend their sizeable lead at the top of the table.
His former Sunderland manager Jack Ross has previously gone on record to say about McLaughlin: “I’m obviously biased and there might be other managers that say it, but I believe I have the best goalkeeper in the league.
“He was outstanding for me last season, he is such a low-maintenance player in terms of how he goes about his business and he is unflappable.”
There’s 14 points separating Rangers from their arch-rivals Celtic at the top of the table – if he can keep a clean sheet or at the very least secure a victory, those three points could prove vital to putting Gerrard’s side on course to regain the title for the first time since the 2010-11 season.