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Byline: Craig Swan

STEVEN NAISMITH admits he's stunned that England's big guns have not swooped for Rangers keeper Allan McGregor.

The Ibrox striker grabbed the headlines for heading his first international goal for Scotland in the match against Spain.

But it was club and country team-mate McGregor who stole the show at the other end of the pitch with a fantastic display.

The No.1 was at his brilliant best with a string of stunning saves but was left heartbroken as Fernando Llorente's late volley gave Spain victory.

Naismith wasn't surprised at the keeper's performance but is surprised that the vultures have not moved for the keeper.

Sunderland paid pounds 8million for Craig Gordon, yet the crocked former Hearts ace is being put in the shade by McGregor.

Naismith said: "Allan is up there now with the best in the game. I'm surprised no other club has come in to try and buy him from Rangers.

"He's been fantastic for us ever since I've been at the club. En route to the UEFA Cup Final a couple of years ago some of his saves were absolutely brilliant.

"Some of his saves in Prague were terrific and then against Spain he was really good.

"Allan's had his problems off the park, but he's learned from them. He's now Scotland No.1 and, while big Craig is also a top keeper, it's roles reversed for the two of them now.

"Craig knows he'll need to be at his best to get back in the team.

"When you look at the likes of Arsenal needing a keeper, it's really unbelievable that no-one has come in for Allan, but I'm not complaining. The longer he stays with Rangers the better it is for the rest of us at the club."

Naismith was delighted to score against the world's best but admits it meant nothing.

He said: "When we got it back to 2-2 we all thought it could be a special night.

"The winning goal was a cheap one and that hurts because they didn't really carve us open in the second half.

Formation "At the moment my goal means very little but I'm sure when I look back in the years ahead it'll be a good memory."

Naismith, meanwhile, insists all talking should stop about the formation and flop in Prague.

The fighting display against Spain prompted the Tartan Army to ask more questions about the approach against the Czech Republic.

He said: "Against Spain and with the fans behind us we knew we could attack a bit more.

"The Spanish like everyone involved in the play while the Czech defence sit back and they are harder to counter-attack.

"It is too simple to ask 'why didn't we play like that against the Czechs'. At Hampden we had the fans behind us for the 90 minutes and that intimidates teams."


ON TARGET: Steven Naismith wheels away after netting
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUE
Date:Oct 14, 2010
Next Article:Crock Scott well chuffed.

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