Rangers goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin thinks moving to Ibrox came at the “right time” in his career as he insisted he is focused on becoming the number one for Gio van Bronckhorst’s side.
McLaughlin has been a patient understudy to Allan McGregor since moving to Ibrox with the Scotland keeper performing well when called upon by the Light Blues.
While the veteran insists he isn’t at the club to try and “emulate” McGregor he does want to prove that he is “worthy” of being a regular part of the Rangers side.
“I feel that the move to Rangers came at the right time for me,” McLaughlin said. “I was ready for that and to come to a club of that stature and play at this level but for myself, it wasn’t about trying to emulate or surpass Allan but a chance to come work at this football club, test myself and contribute to the wider cause.
“Allan is a fantastic keeper and he certainly doesn’t need to be compared to anybody else. Of course, there’s always pressure, you put pressure on yourself to succeed and prove that you are worthy of playing for a club like this and you want to be able to contribute to a side that is so successful and back winning trophies and titles again.
“You want to be worthy of being part of that, so there is that pressure, but I’ve been in the game for a long time now and I feel I’m more than ready for that.”
The Gers head to face Annan Athletic in the Scottish Cup this weekend with McLaughlin likely to come into the side for a rare start but the veteran admits he’s been given no guarantees that he’ll get regular minutes in the cups.
Having been McGregor’s backup for the last few seasons, McLaughlin is happy to bide his time until he gets his chance to show he can be the number one at Rangers.
“It’s not a conversation I’ve had (about starting cup games) since I’ve been at the club. I’ve fully respected that the manager’s decision is to pick the team that they pick and be ready when my opportunities come and try to perform the best that I can and show that when you’re playing alongside a keeper who is as good and as consistent as Allan that I can put in performances that are equal to that. When you do get those opportunities, if they are few and far between, you want to make sure you do yourself justice.”
The keeper signed a new contract at the end of last month to extend his stay at Ibrox and with McGregor turning 40 recently, McLaughlin is adamant he is as in the dark as anyone else over whether the Rangers number one plans to retire in the summer.
Regardless of McGregor’s plans, McLaughlin insists it had no bearing on his decision to sign a new contract and confessed he’d be delighted if McGregor signed up to continue playing beyond his 41st birthday.
“Allan could go on forever if he wanted to!” he added. “We’ve not had any genuine conversations about it. Of course, I want to play and become first-choice at this club – that’s my aim, as it would be for any player – but it’s not a case of trying to replace someone. If Allan was to stay at Rangers, I along with everyone else would be delighted.
“It’s not something that I would want or would give me a better chance to play. That’s not how I want things to work so, for me, it wasn’t a case of knowing Allan’s future, it was a case of knowing I’m at a great football club, a place I’m happy playing my football and can see a good future for myself regardless of who else is in the building.
“Allan’s had an amazing career and if that continues then myself and everyone else will be delighted. We’ll wait and see what happens after this season.”