Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister has no fears about pitching rookie keeper Robby McCrorie into the side for tonight’s Europa League playoff clash with Alashkert in Armenia – and believes the Gers have seen a “different” McCrorie since returning from his loan spell at Livingston.
McCrorie has been out at various clubs in recent season, spending 18 months in West Lothian with Livi and will make his competitive debut for Rangers tonight after Covid ruled out Allan McGregor and Jon McLaughlin.
McAllister thinks the shotstopper is more confident and believes his spell at Livingston has helped reaffirm that he ‘belongs’ at Rangers.
“I did a piece recently about Robby and I have been impressed since day one of pre-season,” McAllister said [Rangers TV].
“He is a young man who was pretty shy – a towering guy but very quiet, and I think since we came back for pre-season, we have seen a different Robby.
“That has been enhanced by the fact he went out and played last season at Livingston so gained some invaluable experience in the Premier League in Scotland.
“But what I have noticed is he has become more confident round the first-team players – he is more chatty and he is first in every morning and is a keeper that works like the players I have played with.
“He is a real workhorse and there is just more confidence about Robby in and around him as a man, and it has been nice to see that maturity. He is someone who is coming out of his shell and actually maybe for the first time thinking, ‘I belong here’.”
McCrorie has almost 100 league appearances to his name at club level for Livingston, Berwick, Greenock Morton and Queen of the South and has represented Scotland at every youth level up to under-21.
The keeper has also been part of the senior Scotland set up so there should be little concern over his ability to come into the Rangers side for tonight’s crunch Europa League tie.
After being touted as a long-term Rangers number on for the best part of a decade now, tonight is the perfect chance for McCrorie to take a big step in proving the hype was merited.