ALLAN McGREGOR refuses to believe Rangers are hurtling towards a crisis despite Saturday's Old Firm defeat at Parkhead.

The goalkeeper was one of few visiting players worthy of commendation for his performance but his defiance was not enough to prevent Celtic opening up a seven-point gap over their arch rivals eight games into the season.

Paul Le Guen has already encountered criticism for his erratic team selections and the pressure will intensify should Rangers fail to overcome Molde in the UEFA Cup second leg at Ibrox on Thursday.

McGregor has acquitted himself impressively since replacing the injured Lionel Letizi but derives no pleasure from backto-back league defeats to Hibernian and now Celtic.

"It is not a crisis. I thought we looked better when we started going for it in the second half and I think we showed we can play a bit, " he said. "Thursday is now a big night for us and we know what's needed.

"We are back to training on Monday and it is important we stick together as a team."

McGregor has already learned from Le Guen that he will be restored the the role of deputy upon the return of Letizi and, most probably, consigned to third-choice when Stefan Klos returns from shoulder injury.

None the less, he maintains he has been unaffected by the manager's decision to make public his feelings on the goalkeeping situation.

"I'd love him to say I've got the shirt but I understand it is a difficult one for him because he brought Lionel to the club, " he said diplomatically. "I just need to wait and see what happens."

Le Guen will require to be more proactive in influencing the future. Of the raft of players signed in the summer, only Sasa Papac started for Rangers at Parkhead.

Karl Svensson, Filip Sebo and Lee Martin were dropped, Libor Sionko came on as a substitute, Phil Bardlesy served a one-match suspension while Letizi and Jeremy Clement were unavailable through injury.

Le Guen, though, preferred to accentuate the precious few positives from the game, even though his pragmatism will raise eyebrows among the support. "I think we tried our best but it just wasn't good enough, " he said. "Even when they scored the second goal I felt we could come back. Jeremy has been our best player this season and when he is not there we miss him."