Stuart McCall has been appointed the new manager of Rangers Football Club until the end of the season. The news comes the day after Rangers were held to a 1-1 draw by Queen of the South at Ibrox putting their playoff place under increasing risk, with the new Rangers regime fronted by Dave King and Paul Murray making their move after only one win in the previous seven games.
He returns to Ibrox where he was a player over a seven year period, working under Walter Smith who signed him in 1991 and made over 194 appearances for the Ibrox side through their nine in a row period.
The former Rangers player quit as Motherwell manager in November, following just two wins in their first 12 games in the Premiership and the club sitting second bottom of the league.
McCall had spoken previously about the Rangers job, he admitted: “It’s a job that most people with connections to the club, or who have it at heart, would find difficult to turn down – regardless of what troubles they might be in.
“I once went to Bradford from Sheffield United. They had just been relegated and people asked why? But and I’m not talking about myself and Rangers here – if it’s something you want to do, it wouldn’t put anyone off.
Given McCall’s previous comments on managing Rangers and working part time with Scotland, the former Motherwell manager could call time on his work with the national side.
He added: “I was lucky at Motherwell, and obviously Peter Houston at Dundee United did it too. It certainly did not hinder me at Motherwell. I am 100 per cent about that. It helped me if anything. But I think with a club the size of Rangers I think that would be impossible, and likewise in England as well. I don’t think certain clubs would look favourably at that. But it is like with anything, you have to have be approached first and then you balance it up. And if it’s the case of going to an interview, you can get a sense of it.”
Since November, McCall had been working with BT Sport as a pundit alongside the likes of Stephen Craigan and commentator Derek Rae gave his thoughts via twitter after the news broke:
Glad to see Stuart McCall back in the management game. Hard working and passionate. Difficult task at Rangers between now and end of season.
— Derek Rae (@RaeComm) March 11, 2015
McCall started out in management with Bradford City in 2007 for three seasons before leaving the English side. He was then appointed as Motherwell manager in 2010 and helped guide Motherwell to a second place finish in the Premiership and with that Champions League football – at the expense of Rangers who were liquidated and started life again in the Third Division.
Former Rangers manager Ally McCoist was placed on gardening leave in December after announcing his resignation, his assistant Kenny McDowall took over the mantle and soon after handed his notice in also.
There is no news yet if Kenny McDowall will return to coaching duties or if McCall will bring in his own men.
But with Rangers 22 points behind league leader Hearts and in third spot behind Hibernian, Rangers’ playoff place is under real threat with the likes of Queen of the South and Falkirk closing in, which means McCall’s first task will be to turn around the fortunes of the team with the current players at his disposal and secure that playoff spot with the hope of promotion at the end of it.