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Nacho Novo to retire and make move into management to help rising stars fulfil their dream

By Steven Beacom

Rangers legend Nacho Novo is set to hang up his boots and retire as a player as he bids to move into management in the next phase of his football career.

The 38-year-old left Glentoran in May and although there is some life left in the ageing legs, Novo believes he has more to offer from a coaching perspective.

Quizzed on whether he will continue playing, Novo replied: "No, I think that's me. I think I will try and go into management and try to build up from there.

"I'm 38 and I need to give the chance to the kids to progress. I feel I have a lot to give to the kids and want to try to make them better players and try and help them achieve their dreams.

"There are a few options in England and Scotland so I will just see what the best is for me. I am enthusiastic and have the work ethic to try and help players get better and win games.

"I am still training with Dumbarton in the Championship. I will go on training not to play, just to keep myself fit."

Should Novo call it quits, he can look back on a fantastic 20-year career which peaked during a sensational spell at Rangers between 2004 and 2010.

He became a massive favourite with the fans at Ibrox for his energetic performances, passion and ability to score vital goals which helped the club win three Scottish Premiership titles and several cup competitions during his time there. Novo was also a key figure when Rangers reached the Uefa Cup final in 2008.

He also played for Raith, Dundee and Greenock Morton in Scotland as well as Sporting Gijon in his native Spain, Legia Warsaw in Poland and was with Carolina Railhawks in America before moving to Glentoran in 2016.

"I have some really good memories, I won lots of trophies, especially with Rangers, and played in different countries so I am happy with everything that I have done," said Novo.

"I would never change my career. I'm proud of what I have achieved as a player and now want the same feelings as a manager. I'm looking forward to that and then it will be up to me to get a job, put the work in and give everything that I have."

As part of his coaching education, Novo has been an interested observer at the Rangers training ground recently, watching Ibrox boss Pedro Caixinha in action. He has been impressed by what he has witnessed.

"In the last week I have been watching training with the Rangers first team and learning more and gaining more information from Pedro Caixinha and assessing his work. He has been absolutely fantastic," stated Novo.

"In training, Pedro has been pushing the players all the time. There have been really good training sessions and he is making them stronger.

"Pedro has been doing good work for Rangers and I support him in how he is managing and pushing the players and how the training is and the high tempo and high intensity training.

"If anyone drops a little bit he is there and that is how it should be. I would like everyone involved with Rangers to support him and I think he could succeed. I think in the last four games you can see the team is getting better and that is all about confidence.

"I think Pedro and Rangers will do well this season and hopefully he can get the club back to where it belongs, winning championships and cups and getting into Europe, all these things the fans deserve."

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