CAPTAIN Lee Wallace heaped praise on goalkeeper Matt Gilks after the Englishman turned in a ‘Man of the Match’ display in today’s League Cup semi-final defeat to Celtic.
The stopper produced stunning save after stunning save to keep Celtic at bay for so long in the game before his resistance was finally broken three minutes before the end of normal time.
Gilks was deputising for regular number one Wes Foderingham, and Wallace pointed to the understudy’s graft in learning how a goalkeeper should play in Mark Warburton’s system.
He explained afterwards to RangersTV.tv: “He did really well, and it’s always a tough game to come into, especially the way we play. The demands on our goalkeeper to be technically good are ever so high, and it’s probably something Gillo’s not used to, but he has been working hard with Jim Stewart and he has been watching Wes put in his level of performance, and he was just as good with his goalkeeping which was just as important today with a couple of crucial saves.
“That kept us in it at those points.”
Wallace insists Rangers will be able to take many positives from their efforts against Brendan Rodgers’ men this afternoon, but he was well aware as ever the Light Blues will be able to learn on so many aspects too.
He continued: “It’s obviously disappointing to lose that type of goal against that opponent that late on in the game. It’s always a hard time to speak after a defeat like that, but there will be a lot of positives to take from the game, there is no doubt about that.
“Just now, it is disappointing but we’ll go away and watch it, talk about it as a group and then start the first steps to learning how we can do better.”
Rangers now have back-to-back home games to look forward to, and there, he hopes to reward the Rangers supporters for their considerable efforts this afternoon.
He added: “We obviously have two games in a row now where we will be aiming to take six points. There is no way we will be coming in negative and defeated in the morning – we are going to have to turn the pain of this defeat into something more positive.
“But two home games in front of our tremendous supporters, who again did so well for us today, and it’s disappointing that we couldn’t send them home happy. But, we have the chance to do that over the next two games at Ibrox, and hopefully keep taking the right steps forward in the league.
“They [the fans] would have seen the small positives we can take. The fans were tremendous and it’s always disappointing applauding them back without the win. I think it goes without saying though how well they support us every single time they turn out, and we will be trying to make them have something to go home happy about in the next two games.”