Billy Dodds unsurprised by Rangers defensive recruitment

Rangers players looking dejected
Rangers lost 50 goals in the Premiership last season - more than any other top-six side

Billy Dodds believes it was vital former club Rangers recruited defenders as teams "fancied themselves to score" against the Ibrox side last term.

Croatian Nikola Katic, 21, and fellow centre-half Connor Goldson, 25, were signed up by new Rangers boss Steven Gerrard this week.

Third-placed Rangers outscored winners Celtic in the Premiership last season but lost double the amount of goals.

"They had to sort out the centre-half position," said Dodds.

"Teams fancied themselves to score against Rangers. It'll be interesting to see what Katic and Goldson bring to them, see if they can stiffen them up.

Connor Goldson
Goldson made 42 appearances over a three-year spell at Brighton

"It's a position they had identified and they had to sort because if they had gone with what they've got, they would've struggled again next time, simple as that."

Englishman Goldson joins from Brighton and Hove Albion while Katic comes in from Slaven Belupo.

Portuguese duo Bruno Alves and Fabio Cardoso were signed by Rangers last summer during Pedro Caixinha's brief reign as manager.

Both struggled with injury throughout season 2017-18 and Cardoso, 24, featured infrequently after Caixinha's departure in October.

Alves, 36, is currently with the Portugal squad at the World Cup and has a year left on his Rangers contract while defenders David Bates, Russell Martin and Danny Wilson have all left Rangers after featuring last term.

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Scotland's World Cup connections from Celtic, Rangers, Aberdeen and Hibs

And former Ross County assistant manager Dodds, who left the Dingwall side in September, said of Alves: "He has been a fantastic player.

"From a footballer looking at it and from a pundit looking at it, you can see the legs are starting to go. He wanted his swansong at the World Cup, he's got that.

"Sometimes in games, I could see him wobbling. He's still commanding, he was still dominant in the air but you still feel as if you could've got at him and that's the way we felt at Ross County and that's the way other teams probably would've felt as well.

"He's coming to the end of his career. He's been a brilliant player, I'm not taking that away from him."

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