Graeme Murty: It will be a big step for this Rangers 24-yr-old to play v Celtic
Rangers manager Graeme Murty admits Sunday’s Scottish Premiership clash with Celtic will be a “big step” for Jak Alnwick but is confident the 24-year-old will handle his Old Firm debut.
Alnwick looks set to start the Parkhead clash after Wes Foderingham picked up a shoulder injury which also kept him out of last weekend’s win over Hearts.
Murty insists Alnwick is a “high-quality” goalkeeper and thinks the former Port Vale ace can handle the white-hot Old Firm atmosphere.
“Jak came in against Hearts last week and did himself no harm,” said Murty, as quoted by Sky Sports.
“It’s a big step in his career progression to go and handle an Old Firm, particularly in the atmosphere we’re going to experience this weekend.
“But I’m confident he can handle it. He’s a confident character, a very high-quality goalkeeper as far as I can see.”
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Alnwick made only his second league appearance since signing for the Light Blues when he started in last weekend’s win over Hearts.
With the Gers looking at a massive overhaul of the playing squad this summer, Alnwick’s time at Ibrox could come to an end.
Since joining the Gers, Alnwick has primarily appeared in cup games although Foderingham took his place in the recent Scottish Cup semi-final clash with Celtic at Hampden.
Football Insider verdict:
There’s not much other option for Murty than to go with Alnwick on Sunday and he isn’t going to come out and say he has concerns over his mentality. The 24-year-old isn’t as good as Foderingham but if he is protected well by his defence at Celtic Park then he could come away with a clean-sheet. Alnwick’s long-term future looks in doubt with the keeper not looking like displacing Wes Foderingham any time soon so the addition of a new goalkeeper in the summer will almost certainly spell the end for him at Ibrox.