Craigan hails Gerrard’s signing of McAuley

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has been praised for the signing of Gareth McAuley by BT Sport pundit Stephen Craigan.

38-year-old McAuley was drafted in as a free agent after the August transfer deadline passed to provide experience to the defensive line, competing with Nikola Katic, Joe Worrall and Connor Goldson for first-team football at Ibrox.

McAuley is yet to feature for Gerrard’s side but pundit Craigan believes the signing of the former West Brom man is crucial to erasing late errors from his side, who have conceded last-minute goals against Motherwell and Aberdeen so far this season.

“What he will have learnt is that losing a last minute goal at Motherwell, losing a last minute goal at Aberdeen, things could have been so much different,” he told BT Sport.

“As a young manager, in games, he has got to trust his players and get that information across, which is why I’m not surprised he’s signed Gareth McAuley.

“6ft 4in centre-half, away from home, particularly at Motherwell and Hamilton, where the games are going to be scrappy and it’s not always going to be plain sailing, you might need an outstanding, aggressive centre-half to go and clear the ball, and play a different style.”

Having kept a clean sheet at the weekend for only the second time this season, it is apparent that Rangers need more defensive work and the boost McAuley provides could indeed be crucial as the season progresses.