Day two of our Europa league build up comes with a chat with Rangers GK Jon McLaughlin. Jon recently extended his Rangers deal to stay at the club until 2024.
Jon will most likely be on the bench in Seville but should start in the Scottish cup having been no1 in that competition throughout. He has proven to be an able debutant and his quality on the ball and commanding his area has led to some calling for him to be given an extended run in the side.
At the very least if Allan McGregor is to retire then the club shouldn’t look past Jon when they think about our next no 1. He has been steady, commanding and performed really well every time he has been called upon.
As he is introduced to the group he politely says hello and is relaxed when he realises he is speaking to fan media. He’s softly spoken but clearly enthusiastic about the week ahead.
Jon, first of all congratulations on the new deal, albeit a while ago, how much are you looking forward to the week ahead?
Yeah it’s been fantastic! It’s been a real rollercoaster for the club on this European journey. The club have been building year on year for this, before I got here they have had relative success getting to the group stage and beyond. We got to the knock out stages and last year we done great, to go a step forward and achieve what we have this season feels massive.
Each round we have progressed has been more and more like a fairytale for everybody. To be reaching a final I still think it is incredible, everyone is buzzing, but I still think it will take a while probably even seasons to come to realise what we have achieved.
That’s something I was going to ask how the group were and what’s the buzz like because it’s such a massive week and you’ll be looking forward to the Scottish cup with you being no1 all the way through?
Yeah I think it’s been impossible not to let your mind wander to next week and for the players involved all the way through the potential of that and what’s to come, how big a game it is.
Nobody in the city can give you a chance to forget what is coming up. For the fans, for everyone at the football club, it’s been sort of amazing couple of weeks now. It’s given everyone a huge boost, a huge lift.
We had the Scottish cup but to add this in, in terms of the week coming, yeah it doesn’t get much bigger than this at club level.
Just in terms of next season having signed your new deal, is it your aim now to kick on and be the clubs permanent no1, is that in your mind?
Of course! That was the intention when I came to the club. I’ve never signed anywhere, at any club, to be a back up GK or to just sit and be happy with that. I want to be playing games and be a first choice goalkeeper.
Obviously the situation here I’ve been delighted to join a massive club and I’ve pushed as hard as I can to always be in a position to play games whenever I am needed. That will always continue to be the case, I don’t know what will happen going forward but in terms of my own ambition then yes I want to play as many games as possible and I’ll continue to do everything in my power to be ready for that situation.
From there we will see what comes of it but I’m delighted to be here and part of this club, if this is the way that the club is headed then it’s a great place to be.