Former Rangers hero Lee McCulloch has come to the defence of Allan McGregor.

The Rangers number one has been dealing with criticism after Sunday’s loss to Celtic at Parkhead. In one of many flash-points, McGregor seemed to kick out at Kristoffer Ajer of Celtic in the penalty area. Willie Collum appeared to see it, but decided not to give anything.

This has led to much criticism of McGregor for the lash out. Rangers fans have showered praise on their goalkeeper for a terrific display at Parkhead. But the incident with Ajer seems to have overshadowed what was a fine display.

McGregor was criticised on Sunday for an apparent kick-out (Getty Images)

One man who played with McGregor during Rangers’ glory days was Lee McCulloch. Together, the pair won multiple Scottish Premier League titles under Walter Smith. Therefore, if anyone knows what McGregor is all about, it’s McCulloch.

The former Motherwell and Rangers man lept to the defence of his former team-mate in today’s Evening Times.

Speaking in his column in the newspaper, McCulloch refuted suggestions there was excessive force used in the incident with Ajer.

There is no excessive force at all, so therefore, I don’t think he has a case to answer. I don’t think Allan has meant to kick the boy and he certainly hasn’t tried to injure him. Having known him and trained with him every day, I just don’t believe he has any sort of nasty streak in him. I have played with Allan at Rangers and I know him well, and I can tell you now that there is no malice in Greegsy at all.

McGregor’s defence

Looking back at footage of the incident, it does look difficult to defend McGregor. The ball wasn’t there to be won, and it appears the Rangers goalkeeper makes a kicking motion towards Ajer.

Interestingly, however, the interpretation of whether kick-outs are now a red card appears to be up in the air.

McGregor and McCulloch played together during Walter Smith’s second spell in charge (David Ramos/Getty Images)

Alfredo Morelos was sent off for a kick-out at Pittodrie on the opening day of the season. Yet, after it was reviewed, the Colombian forward won his appeal.

Steven Naismith also kicked Scott Brown during Hearts’ 1-0 win over Celtic last month. Again, there was clear contact, but the compliance officer didn’t flag it up.

So, whilst even the Rangers manager has said it was a red card, the compliance officer may yet interpret things differently.

McGregor was terrific at Celtic Park, and made a variety of saves to keep the score down.

If the Scotland number one was to be suspended, Wes Foderingham would take his place.

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