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Former Rangers boss Alex McLeish hoping for Ibrox return

By Julian Taylor

Alex McLeish has indicated he would jump at the chance to return to Rangers.

The Ibrox club are searching for a new manager following their dramatic split with Mark Warburton on Friday night.

Graeme Murty was placed in charge of the team for yesterday's William Hill Scottish Cup fifth round 2-1 victory over Morton, while Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill and St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright have also been linked with the vacant Gers job. But the out of work McLeish has emerged as an early front-runner to make a welcome comeback at Ibrox.

McLeish, who won two titles in a five-year spell as Rangers manager from 2001 to 2006, admitted he would find it hard to turn down the post, should it be offered.

The former Birmingham City and Aston Villa chief said: "I am a Rangers man, you have to keep that in consideration, and when you get asked to come to a huge club like this, it is a hard decision to turn that down."

McLeish continued: “If they come and they want to speak to me, I can only take it from there. I need to wait and see if Rangers want to talk to me first.”

McLeish was at the Rangers Cup game yesterday and helped the sponsors make the draw for the sixth round.

He watched Murty take charge of the Gers first team yesterday and the Ibrox under-boss claimed he had “the world” telling him which Light Blues team to pick for their clash against Morton.

Largely unknown Murty was asked to take charge on Friday night after the club issued a statement claiming Mark Warburton and his management team had resigned, although

that was reportedly denied by the former Brentford boss.

Murty tried unsuccessfully to call Warburton but had plenty of advice given to him before the game.

The Championship side took the lead through Michael Tidser in the seventh minute before goals from strikers Kenny Miller and Martyn Waghorn gave the Light Blues a home quarter-final tie against the winners of the Dunfermline versus Hamilton replay.

Murty, who was at the Glasgow Warriors rugby game on Friday night when he got the call to go to Ibrox, said of his first experience of picking a Rangers first team: “It was difficult because I had the world telling me what to do. I had quite a few people on Twitter telling me what team to pick. I had every person in my phone book telling me I have to do this and do that.

“In the end I had to go with what I thought. Picking it was difficult but telling the players who were not involved was even harder. I thought I should do that face to face and give them the respect they deserve, so I did and the result is what you saw.

“It was a bit of a whirlwind really. I will take some time tonight to decompress and relax and possibly have a glass of wine and get my thoughts sorted out but I have to say I stood on the sidelines and thoroughly enjoyed watching the team play.

“I am just busy sorting out my head. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Does it drive me in a way for the future? I have no idea. I will sort my thoughts out later.”

Murty will try again to call Warburton to thank him for bringing him to Ibrox.

He said: “I wanted to basically thank him because he was on my interview panel and he has been very open, inclusive and welcoming to me since I have been at the club.

“So I tried to have a chat to him — but he hasn’t taken my calls yet. But I will definitely try to get in touch with him.”

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