WHEN you have played with Andy Goram, it is a bold statement for any Scottish player to make that they don’t consider the man known as ‘The Goalie’ to be the best keeper they have played with.

For the former Rangers captain Lee McCulloch though, the current Ibrox number one shades it, with the combination of his ability and his will to win making Allan McGregor his number one choice.

There is also the qualifying factor that by the time Goram played alongside a young McCulloch at Motherwell in the twilight of his career, he perhaps had not dedicated himself to remaining as physically honed as McGregor has, and was a little past his peak.

Still, for McGregor to be edging out the man voted the greatest goalkeeper in the history of Rangers in the mind of someone who has skippered the club is a sign of his ongoing excellence.

“I think it would be Greegsy for the all-round package,” McCulloch said. “He was the best, it’s got be Greegsy.

“You would have him in the trenches, you would have him going into the big games as the captain without the armband.

“It hasn’t surprised me at all how well he has done [since coming back to Rangers]. He’s a top-class goalkeeper ability-wise, I think he’s shown that since he came in and made his debut, but it’s his character as well for me.

“He’s a winner on the pitch and I think the biggest factor for me now that I’ve taken up a coaching role is in the dressing room. How influential he is in the dressing room.

“He gets everybody really going before the big games, but even in training, he hates conceding goals.

“He gets on at defenders if they aren’t defending properly, his standards are sky-high, so it’s no surprise to me at all.”

McGregor’s influence on his teammates was obvious to anyone watching Rangers’ win over Celtic at the end of December, with his first-half penalty save from Ryan Christie and his constant organisation of the defence in front of him proving pivotal to the victory.

“It’s just in you, it’s not whether you are a goalie or a centre-half, whatever position you play, you’ve got these characters and leaders that enhance a team,” said McCulloch.

“They motivate people and get people out of their comfort zones, making them ready to play and show up in the big games.

“That’s what Allan is. He was like that as a young player too. He’s always had that nasty streak, wanting to win at whatever cost.

“That leaves some people, while some people don’t develop it until they are older, but I’ve not seen it leave Greegsy at all.

“He does everything. He’s like a captain, he’ll go around individually on training days.

“He’s probably not as vocal at training, but in games he’s probably the one that will come in and have a go at everyone, the full dressing room at half-time before the manager does. He does the manager’s job and he’s acting like a captain would and should.

“It’s not about bawling and shouting, but he’s got unbelievable hunger and desire to win trophies and football games.

“I think they’ve only been beaten once all season, and that’s no surprise with the amount of leaders they’ve got down the spine of their team.

“For me though, it’s all about Allan McGregor.”