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Allan McGregor deserves to break European appearances record – Steven Gerrard

Rangers v Midtjylland – UEFA Europa League – Third Qualifying Round – Second Leg – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Steven Gerrard heaped praise on Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor as he prepares to break the club’s record for European appearances.

The 38-year-old, in his second spell at Ibrox, is poised to make his 83rd continental appearance in the home Europa League Group D match against Standard Liege on Thursday night, one more than former team-mate Barry Ferguson.

Rangers boss Gerrard said: “His consistency levels from day one have been at a really high level and Allan deserves to break this record.

“I’m really pleased for him, we are all proud of him here. He has never let us down and he is someone we are extremely happy with.

“To take the record off someone like Barry Ferguson who has an incredible legacy at the club, should be a proud day for both.

“I am sure Allan will be very grateful to take the baton from Barry but I am sure Barry will be very proud as well because they played together and they are two fantastic servants for the club.

“He (McGregor) is certainly up there alongside the best I have played with in terms of how he goes about his business on a daily basis.

“His standards are top and it certainly helps my job when there are people in the dressing room that help relay the message and basically set the standards themselves.”

Asked about the achievement, McGregor said: “At the moment I am just concentrating on the game but probably it will take until later in life to realise what an achievement it is.

“Obviously it is a very proud one and just to be part of the history will be unbelievable.”

The Light Blues, unbeaten this season, are top of Group D along with Benfica on eight points from four games with Polish club Lech Poznan and Standard Liege both on three points.

Gerrard is looking to qualify against the Belgian outfit, whom Rangers beat 2-0 on matchday one.

“The next challenge is Standard Liege, a very good and dangerous team,” he said.

“But tomorrow night is a fantastic opportunity for us to qualify for the second season on the spin and that’s the challenge and the only one we should focus on.”

Gerrard admitted he did not know that former chairman Dave King was set to offer fans’ group Club 1872 the opportunity to buy his shares and therefore strengthen their position at the club but believes it would be a “positive” development.

He said: “I don’t think much changes for me in terms of the dynamics and how things work.

“Obviously Dave stepped aside some time ago. My relationship with Dave is really strong, we are still in constant dialogue although what I will say is yesterday’s news was new to me. I didn’t have any idea that was going to break.

“So I haven’t had time to read up about it or educate myself if you like on what could happen in the short, medium or long term.

“I suppose it is a positive from what I have heard so far in terms of the fans getting closer and giving them more ownership if you like.

“But I will leave that to the suits and the businessmen to do the right thing by Rangers.

“For me on a daily basis, nothing really changes but I am sure when I have future chats with Ross (Wilson, sporting director) and Stewart (Robertson, managing director) and the board, I will be brought up to speed with exactly what is going on in the short, medium and long term.”