LONG-TERM Auchenhowie coach Jim Stewart is delighted with the current strength of his goalkeeping department.

Ibrox number one Wes Foderingham has enjoyed a terrific campaign so far, but any time deputy Matt Gilks has been called upon, he has also performed to a very high level.

Speaking exclusively this week to the Official Rangers Podcast, Stewart explained: “I have been absolutely delighted with the contribution of both Wes and Matt. Matt came on board in the summer and offered a level of competition to Wes, and when you see Wes’ performances over the season, he has been very consistent and we are happy with that. Matt has come in and played in the cup games, and excelled in the Celtic game which was fantastic.

“We know the competition is there, and it’s a good level of competition for both individuals. When you look at Wes, his games are more consistent. He had a great season last year in terms of us getting promotion, but the fact Matt has come in and the type of person he is – he’s vocal, he wants to play and has made that astutely clear, and I think Wes has risen to the challenge.”

Rangers have long had a strong tradition of bringing through young goalkeepers, and the current conveyor belt of talent behind the first team is also something which pleases Stewart greatly.

He added: “The important thing is there is a line of goalkeepers ready to come through. We are delighted that Robby McCrorie is performing well in the under-20s, young Kieran Wright has been on-loan at Gala Fairydean and he is enjoying that journey, and it certainly helps in his future development.

“I managed to get a chance to go and see Liam Kelly for Livingston against Airdrieonians at the weekend, and he kept a clean sheet and performed well again. It’s good to see this season his loan period is working out well for him – it’s a good challenge for him to be at Livingston the fact they are the favourites to go up in that league and the fact they have a big advantage at the top. Hopefully that will continue through the season and Liam will be successful.”

JIM WAS SPEAKING EXCLUSIVELY TO THE OFFICIAL RANGERS PODCAST. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO MORE OF WHAT HE HAD TO SAY.

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