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Rangers: Van Bronckhorst gives Jon McLaughlin backing

Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst has seemingly made a big decision regarding Ibrox ‘keeper Jon McLaughlin, ahead of this evening’s Champions League encounter with Ajax.

What’s the word?

As per the Glasgow Times, the Dutchman appears to have decided to keep faith with the 34-year-old against the Eredivisie outfit, despite the former Sunderland stopper having come in for criticism for his role in the recent Old Firm debacle.

The former Feyenoord boss stated: “I’ve spoken with Jon and I’ve spoken with the team about how we played, the way we conceded goals and how we need to improve, what went wrong.

“It’s a normal process. You cannot change every time you gave a defeat. You cannot change everything because you have to stick to your beliefs and your way of playing”.

Big mistake

It is set to be a huge night for the Glasgow side, with the club preparing for its first taste of group stage action in Europe’s premier competition since the 2010/2011 season, having stormed their way through the qualifying rounds in recent months.

Ahead of such a mammoth meeting with the Dutch outfit away in Amsterdam, it would appear that Van Bronckhorst is making a significant mistake in persisting with McLaughlin between the sticks, particularly with the experienced Allan McGregor currently resigned to the substitutes bench.

The latter man has made just a solitary outing so far this term despite having signed a new one-year extension at the end of last season, with it having been somewhat a surprise to see the 40-year-old ousted from his starting berth after only recently playing a crucial role in the club’s surge to the Europa League final.

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Jon McLaughlin

Jon McLaughlin

Allan McGregor

Allan McGregor

Lauded as the Gers’ “best ever goalkeeper” by Tam McManus, the one-time Besiktas ace has been a hugely reliable figure at Ibrox across his two spells with the Scottish Premiership side, having racked up 451 appearances across all competitions to date.

Although approaching the climax of his lengthy career, the 42-cap gem has shown little sign of decline in recent years, with former Celtic playmaker Kris Commons recently stating his astonishment that the veteran ace has been restricted to a viewing brief thus far this season.

Calls for McLaughlin’s head have been present throughout the early weeks of the campaign, with the 6 foot 3 dud notably coming under fire for his howler in the first-leg defeat to Union Saint-Gilloise last month.

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Despite recovering from that significant blunder, the Edinburgh-born ‘keeper was again under the microscope following his dismal display in the recent Old Firm derby drubbing, notably gifting away possession in the build-up to David Turnbull’s late effort, having also perhaps been beaten far too easily for their rivals’ three first-half strikes.

If even such a poor outing won’t lead to a recall for McGregor, then the ageing ace is seemingly only destined for a supporting role under Van Bronckhorst this season, with that potentially set to prove a notable mistake both this evening and beyond.

Article title: Rangers: Van Bronckhorst gives Jon McLaughlin backing

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