Top Line Summary

  • Why rotation is 'needed' for the Rangers squad over the course of a season
  • How the league and cup are the same in the 'we have to win' mentality required
  • The League Cup win won't change the pressure that's on the players because relentless nature of club
  • Goldson's frustration at missing out on going to Easter Road on Wednesday after a booking too many
  • Explains how the manager has brought new life out of the squad and how quickly football can turn

Connor Goldson has been speaking ahead of Rangers' Scottish Cup tie against Dumbarton. Here is everything he had to say.

How have you found it this season playing with so many different partners?

It's fine, I'm used to it. I've never really had a regular partner in the years that I've been here. We've got great options in there, four top centre-halves so we know we need to work hard to try and keep our place and play well to keep the shirt. Obviously, we all can't play every game so the rotation's needed with so many games.

Do you ever speak to your partners and things they go through?

I'm close to all of them, they're all good people. I'm used to playing with all of them. With Leon over the years, John Souttar for the last two years and Ben [Davies] for the last two years so I have an understanding with all of them so whoever I'm playing with I'm more than happy to play with. But there's a lot of games and at this football club we need to all be pushed and we need to all be ready to play games.

Would it get easier if there was a consistent pairing at the back?

No, not really. If you look at the top clubs around the world who play so many games in a season, they all rotate. You look at a team such as Man City, they've got four top centre-halves who rotate basically every week and over the course of the season there's going to be injuries, there's going to suspensions so we've all got to be ready and all got to be ready to play our part.

Is the Scottish Cup a change from battling for league points?

No, it's the same, we have to win.

What does the Scottish Cup mean to you?

It's another competition that we want to go the whole way in. We've got a massive game tomorrow. I've said it plenty of times over the last so many years, we're a football club that demands success. This is the first game in the cup that we want to go the whole way in and win.

What's it like when you go to a small place like Dumbarton with one stand?

It's a game of football. We played a game last week in La Manga with one stand and the pitch wasn't great so we've just got to go there and do our job. We respect them and I'm sure they'll be fired up for it and be giving it everything they've got but we have to go there and do our job. We have to be respectful to them but at the same time we have to play our game and we have to win.

Does the League Cup win change the team's mentality?

No, not really. Every game that we go into, we want to win. We know at the start of the season there's three trophies and a European adventure we want to go on. We want to win all three trophies. Obviously, that doesn't happen every year. We hadn't won anything in the 18 months before that so I think it was good for the new players to feel that and feel what it means for this football club when you win here so I think that was good for them. Our start to the season drew a lot of criticism and rightly so and we went on a good run and were able to get ourselves back in contention. We've won our first trophy of the season and we want to make this season successful.

Do you think it could be the most exciting season yet for you?

I hope so. That's the plan every season, that's up to ourselves and how hard we're willing to work every day and how hard we're willing to push in every single competition that we play in but the last six months is always where the season gets exciting and trophies are to be won. We have to go into this now with a team ready to go and every single person ready to push because we're all going to be needed.

Is it frustrating for you that you are out midweek?

Yes, I'm disappointed. I didn't know before the game I was on five yellow cards. I didn't really think it was a yellow card with a few minutes left and the referee let a lot go in that game in terms of bookings and yellow cards and he booked all three of us in one moment. It's one of those things, I will have to get ready for this game [against Dumbarton], have a tough week of training and get ready for next weekend.

Does the harsh nature of the decision make it worse?

No. It is what it is. If I'm honest I've probably got away with some over the season where I've fouled people and not been carded. I've played a lot of games and picked up probably more bookings than I would like and more than I'd want over a season already. I missed the European game early on. It is what it is and I have to deal with it.

Does lifting the League Cup lift some of the pressure?

No. We know what it's like here. Especially the boys who have been here longer. You are a bad result away from feeling the pressure so we need to stay on our toes and work hard every day and see what happens. If you look back to the start of the season it just shows, we were on a bad run and in a bad place. It shows how quickly football can turn around. Now we are talking about trying to win three trophies. That's the aim of this football club and we need to work hard and go into games knowing what's at stake in every single game. Hopefully, it's a successful season.

How strong is the belief you can win domestically?

It's there but obviously, it's up to us to go on a run. We know what it takes, you can't slip up. We haven't got any more chances to drop points. But that's Wednesday. We have a big game tomorrow that we need to go and win. It's another cup competition and another trophy that's up for grabs and we need to be successful in so we need to keep going and win that game first.

Why do you think things have changed so quickly?

Football is like that, things go against you when you're having a bad spell. You can concede one shot on target and it's a goal and you lose or draw. Then the defence and attacking players are rubbish. When you're in a good spell you concede five shots on target but none of them go in and everything is amazing and the defence is amazing. You go through those spells. New managers come in and he's brought a new level of excitement around the place with hard work on the training pitch and having the clarity we've not got. Going on a run breeds confidence, especially for the new players that have just signed here and you are just starting to see the best of some of them. Hopefully, that can continue.