McAuley right at home with red, white and blue of Rangers

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But McAuley insists he had made his own move to Glasgow with the aim of playing a significant part himself.

"But I think we are getting closer and the players that the manager has brought in have been together for two, three months".

"It is up to me to challenge them and to try to get in the team, but also to help develop them as well as they are the future of the club and the means to moving forward as well".

Suffice to say we were poor on the day given the performances we've put in so far and Celtic stepped up a gear which to me shows they felt the pressure and that's not a bad thing.

Larne man McAuley, 38, has been a free agent since leaving West Bromwich Albion in the summer following their relegation from the Premier League.

"The opportunity to come and play at this famous club is unbelievable", McAuley told RangersTV. "My family support the club and me myself as well", McAuley said.

"The street I was born on, the kerbs are painting red, white and blue so to get the opportunity to play for this famous club is wonderful".

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McAuley, who has 79 caps and played at Euro 2016 for Northern Ireland, is hopeful he can help improve Rangers' younger centre-halves Conor Goldson (25), Nikola Katić (21) and Joe Worrall (21).

"Im delighted to be here and fell very honoured and privileged to be here".

"There was such a down in our football club of how big the gap was, it was like some of our players, that are maybe not here any more, were looking at them like they were nowhere near catchable".

Olivier Ntcham's goal was the difference on Sunday as Steven Gerrard suffered defeat in his first Old Firm derby as Gers boss.

McAuley will join up with his new Gers team-mates when he returns from global duty following the up-coming double header with Bosnia and Herzegovina and Israel.

"I've got a bit to catch-up on that".