Kernaghan insists pair of fresh eyes will revitalise Rangers
The man who kept the Brentford manager’s chair warm for Mark Warburton believes that his appointment as the new boss of Rangers is a massive positive for the club — because he arrives in Scotland free from any baggage.
Alan Kernaghan was caretaker manager of Brentford before Warburton took over and then worked under him for a short time until the new boss brought his own staff on board.
The former Republic of Ireland international also knows the Scottish game in general, having played for St Johnstone, Brechin City, Clyde, Livingston, Falkirk and Dundee — as well as being manager of Clyde and Dundee — and Rangers in particular, after working as a youth coach at the club before his stint at Brentford, as assistant manager to Uwe Rosler.
Although he has never worked in Scotland before, Warburton won’t be totally wet behind the ears but because he comes without any kind of label, Kernaghan believes there is more chance of him achieving the success that the club craves after three seasons outside the SPL.
“He is someone coming to Scottish football with new eyes and isn’t entrenched in what has gone on in Scotland before,” said Kernaghan.
“It will be good for Rangers — a new start as such, a clean sweep of the board and new ideas will come and that is needed at Rangers at the moment.”
Warburton takes over in the role from Stuart McCall, who was put in temporary charge when first Ally McCoist and then Kenny McDowall resigned during last season and were placed on gardening leave.
Chairman David King will hope that Warburton has the level of support from the Ibrox faithful that his immediate predecessors did while they fought back from the fourth tier of the Scottish game and that he can get on with focusing on the job with the full backing of those same fans, as well as the players. The playing staff can expect to enjoy themselves along the way.
“I think it’s a great appointment for Rangers. He’s a very positive person in all aspects of how he goes about his job,” said Kernaghan, who is currently working for the Irish FA’s Club NI programme on a temporary basis.
“He is very much hands-on. He’ll want to know everything that’s going on at the club. “He is very decisive and he’s very good to work for. He is good fun but also knows his stuff.”
There was a groundswell of support for caretaker manager McCall to be given the opportunity to have another crack at taking the club into the Scottish Premiership next season, having taken over in March when automatic promotion was virtually impossible.
After losing out in a play-off against Motherwell the club’s hierarchy decided to go for a completely clean break and not allow their heartstrings to be pulled and go for someone who served the club so well in a playing capacity.
“If I was asked to do it all again I would, 100 per cent,” said McCall. “It has been an absolute honour to serve the club these last three months.”