DEREK JOHNSTONE: Good things come to those who wait

NEIL Alexander waited a long, long time to get an extended run in the Rangers first team.

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DJ has backed Alexander to help guide Rangers back to SPL
DJ has backed Alexander to help guide Rangers back to SPL

Only after Scotland No.1 Allan McGregor moved to Turkey in the summer did he finally get his chance.

But during his time out of the side he never complained. He was always positive about being a player at the Ibrox club.

So I was glad to hear this week that Rangers officials are at an advanced stage in negotiations with the goalkeeper about a new contract.

I have no doubt at all that, if the sums add up, Neil will put pen to paper and prolong his stay in Glasgow.

He knows he will be back in the big time in two or three seasons and will want to be part of things when that happens. He appreciates this spell in the lower leagues is only temporary.

It is vital for Ally McCoist to keep all of his experienced players and Alexander is certainly one of those.

Rangers have lost some silly goals at times this season, but the goalkeeper has not been responsible for any of them.

He is excellent at getting in the faces of his defenders. He is very vocal and keeps them on their toes.

I think Ally should be striving to bring in players who can do a job for Rangers when they get back in the SPL, not just in the Second Division, in the coming months.

They will be back in the top flight before too long and should look to acquire boys who will be able to perform at that level.

I believe Rangers need to strengthen the back four. In particular, I would like to see him add two big centre-backs to the squad.

I don't think Ally will be able to bring in a centre-half with great ball-playing ability. Those kind of individuals are hard to come by and are rarely out of contract at this stage in the season.

But if he can add a couple of solid lads who can defend first and foremost I would be happy. I think that has been lacking at times in the 2012/13 campaign.

Ally had been linked with Jamie Murphy, but the talented Motherwell forward yesterday signed on with League One promotion challengers Sheffield United.

Apparently, he is more than doubling his wages by moving to Bramall Lane. Going there was a no-brainer for the lad and he should do well.

Elsewhere, Ryan McGowan, the Hearts right-back Rangers tried to sign back in August, looks all set to go to Shandong Luneng in China for £400,000.

The Australian internationalist will be nearer home and will also be receiving a lot more money than he had been in Scotland.

Rangers will be working under a salary cap next season and will be careful with their money.

But the 3-1 win over Annan at Galabank on Wednesday was the 11th successive victory for Rangers and put them 17 points clear in the league.

Several key players were out and the young lads came in and did well. That shows they are getting to grips with senior football.


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