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Given impresses, Walters struggles

Stoke City
By ESPN Staff

McGregor facing Hampden heartache again

Allan McGregor is facing more Hampden disappointment with deputy Neil Alexander set to start for Rangers against St Mirren in Sunday's Scottish League Cup final.

Rangers boss Walter Smith will almost certainly leave out his number one goalkeeper to keep faith with Alexander, who has played every previous round in the competition.

Alexander was preferred for the Scottish Cup final against Falkirk last May as McGregor fell out of favour with Smith following his part in the 'Boozegate' scandal on Scotland duty, while injury ruled him out of both the Scottish Cup final and the UEFA Cup final the previous year.

Now it looks like he will have to settle for a place on the bench against the Buddies.

"Managers can always change their minds but Neil has played in every other game in the League Cup this season,'' Smith said. "My intention was that would continue.

"I probably won't go back on that and I will play Alexander due to the fact that he's played in every other game. It's hardly a risk, as we have two very fine goalkeepers at Rangers at the moment.

'When you have two goalkeepers like that, then you're always going to have a problem with the one that's not playing. But Neil has played some very big games since he came here.

"Allan has missed the tail end of the past two seasons, unfortunately, and it has cost him some cup final occasions. Alexander has had to come in but he has handled those occasions very well.

"Of course, there are times when I know Neil has been very disappointed at not playing but the good thing has been it has not affected his attitude or his training.''


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