ANDY GORAM shared a dressing room with Ally McCoist for long enough to think he knew him inside out.
As well as being team-mates during the highly-successful Nine-in-a-Row era at Rangers, and at international level with Scotland, the pair have always been and continue to be close friends away from football.
Throughout that professional working relationship and friendship which has spanned more than 20 years, Goram has watched his friend secure legendary status with the Light Blue legions after a host of match-winning goals and his ability to come through some difficult situations.
However, hidden depths to McCoist's personality have been revealed in only the last four months.
Goram has always respected the fact there is a lot more to his pal than meets the eye in the sense that he isn't always the happy-go-lucky joker that he is often portrayed as – citing him as one of the hardest players he has come across in his time.
Like many of McCoist's former team-mates, he didn't think the current Ibrox manager could rise any further in his estimations – that was until he was forced to dig deeper than ever before when Rangers were forced into administration.
From that fateful day in February this year until the present, The Goalie has looked on as one of his best mates has been forced to deal with more problems in the space of four months than most managers would ever have to deal with in a lifetime.
"When Ally agreed to take over from Walter Smith he knew it was going to be a difficult job," admitted Goram.
"He was replacing a legend but he worked under Walter long enough to learn the ropes and know what to expect.
"But he has hardly had an opportunity to be a football manager – he has had to deal with all the off-the-field problems.
"He has waited so long for the chance to become Rangers manager and then when it does come along all this happens. It is heartbreaking for him really. You've got to remember he is and always has been a fan, first and foremost.
"The dignity he has displayed throughout this whole situation is a credit to him as a person and I'd imagine he is the only one throughout this whole process who hasn't told any lies.
"He will have learned a lot about himself as a manager and as a person.
"I've got huge respect for the way he has handled himself during this process."
Goram is now keeping his fingers crossed the club's decision to appeal the transfer embargo through the Scottish courts proves successful as he believes it is the only way to help the club get back on track within a reasonable timescale.
He said: "The biggest issue for Ally will be the signing ban – that will make life far more difficult and he already has a tough enough job on his hands without that.
"If he isn't allowed to sign players over the age of 18, especially when it looks as though a lot of the experienced players might be leaving, then it is going to make it very difficult for the team to be competitive in the Scottish Premier League.
"No disrespect to the young lads, but it would be asking too much of them. I'm not surprised the club are now trying to have the decision reversed – how many times do the club need to be punished?
"There was a 10-point deduction which cost the team any chance of winning the league. I'm not doubting Celtic deserved to win the league but what I'm saying is that Rangers were dealt with accordingly.
"Then there was the £160,000 fine – okay. But now they are talking about possibly putting the club into the Third Division; they need to be careful what they wish for. It's the old saying – they might just get it. Without both Celtic and Rangers, the league is done.
"I'm not saying Rangers haven't deserved to be punished but you have to be careful just how far you take it."