One of the biggest cheers to be let off inside Ibrox on Thursday night came in the 93rd minute.

Sparta Prague, buoyed by their first goal and chasing an equaliser that their qualification hopes in Group C required, piled the penalty area at the Copland Road end and swung a cross right on top of the six-yard box. But it was to be Jack Butland’s. Leaping and claiming the inswinger before enjoying a moment with the ball nestled in his grasp on the ground, as a collective pressure valve within the stadium was released.

This wasn’t necessarily a game where the 30-year-old was called into a match-winning save, as his predecessor Allan McGregor was to keep the Road to Seville alive in late November 2021 against the same opposition. However, Philippe Clement knows and Ibrox believes that when such moments do arrive as they did at Hampden on Sunday in the League Cup semi-final, Rangers have a difference-maker in goals capable of getting them out of trouble more often than not.

Butland played down any notion that he’d ‘filled the shoes’ of the No.1 spot already in a midweek press conference, saying: “I guess the club have a soft spot for keepers, they've had some incredible keepers over the years. They won and they were successful and that's obviously what I want to be here. We're far from filling those shoes but some way to get started.”

McGregor, although imperious as Rangers won a 55th league title and inspired on their last Europa League journey, did not command his zone quite like the man who’s replaced him and declined in his last two seasons from such high standards previously. Butland has very quickly made the role his own.

READ MORE: Analysing Danilo with his former manager: Pressing, link-up and 'quiet' finishing 

It’s the exact same story up top. This was another game decided by Danillo who scored one and assisted the other. The Brazilian, signed from Feyenoord in July, was often the back-up to Cyriel Dessers under Michael Beale who did cite external circumstances for limited minutes after an injury away at St Johnstone stunted the striker’s momentum. Now he’s in the team, Danilo’s not coming out. The impact on overall performance has been material.

Yesterday the deadlock was cranked open by his work off the ball. Splitting his pressing duties across the centre-backs, Danilo’s energy afforded them little space and when the first-half pressing target James Gomez thought it wise to turn blindly and pass backwards Danilo was on his heels to capitalise, intercept and provide a composed finish.

He made 32 pressures on the night - more than anyone else in Govan. Soon after he was setting up Todd Cantwell after dropping to provide a passing option, getting his head up and using the decoy run of Sam Lammers to guide a crossfield delivery.

Dens Park last week was the first real example that although signed for his goals, Danilo looks like the whole package. With a proclivity to drop in when his team require an extra passing option and move defences where they don’t want to turn, it’s no surprise that the front four suddenly looks fluid and dangerous. Clement said last week on his No.99, “He is a killer in the box, I also want him to be a striker who works hard, not only thinking about scoring. But he has the individual action to make the difference”. In Danilo, the Belgian looks to have found what he desires. Without scoring at the weekend against Hearts the forward won the penalty which opened the scoring and, similarly to his assist for Cantwell, received from Sima on the left to provide for Scott Wright as he scored a second. The week before it was his killer instincts which earned a league victory to keep title aspirations alive when they’d appeared signed off for another season moments before.

For the last two seasons, these two positions have not been defined by consistency. McGregor is a bona fide club legend with a highlights reel that makes that sentence sound foolish, but he was 41 by the time retirement beckoned. Last year his Goals Saved Above Average - ‘How many goals did the keeper save/concede versus expectation (Post-Shot xG faced)? This is representative of how many goals the goalkeeper's saves prevented within a season’ - was -8.66.

READ MORE: 'Best leader I've seen' - Inside Jack Butland's journey to Rangers with former teammates 

Alfredo Morelos, especially on nights like last night, also possesses a track record to be proud of and no player has more goals in European football for Rangers than the Colombian. Bar a purple patch here or there, however, Morelos never scored and performed consistently over the course of a league season. Speaking charitably, the 27-year-old did not always put in the work for his team off the ball that most managers desire to shape the pitch from the front in modern football. Last season his availability waned and although Antonio Colak’s goal record was impressive in the opening months and Jermain Defoe had scored as another option in seasons before the Croatian’s arrival neither, due to the overall package formally and age laterally, were to usurp Morelos over a consistent period of time.

A team’s No.9 and goalkeeper are fundamental cogs in any machine. At some clubs, given the servants to previously hold office, the pressure and expectations of said positions are that little bit higher.

Rangers look to have found a No.9 who can do it all in Danilo. His technical quality and history in the Eredevise shows a step up to European football is comfortable but unlike Morelos, there’s a belief the summer arrival can hit the type of numbers required to be successful domestically. Butland’s recent years warming a bench continue to perplex because even forgoing his obvious character qualities which have seen him quickly brought into the leadership group of players at Ibrox, Rangers have so obviously found a goalkeeper worthy of wearing their No.1.

While questions remain over other summer arrivals and recruitment moving forward as a whole, Clement has certainties in key areas. Players capable of pushing fine margins in his side's favour and qualifying as match-deciders.

As Butland correctly points out only winning silver will properly endear him, and his teammate, to the support who’ve already christened both with a song. That doesn’t mean to say they’re not some way to getting started.