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New Rangers boss out to make his mark

Scottish Championship

By Ronnie Esplin

Published 15/06/2015

Ibrox switch: Mark Warburton and Davy Weir are set to take charge at Rangers
Ibrox switch: Mark Warburton and Davy Weir are set to take charge at Rangers

Rangers are set to appoint Mark Warburton as their new manager in a three-year deal.

The former Brentford boss - who will be assisted by former Light Blues captain Davie Weir - will become just the 15th man to have held the position in the club's 143-year history when he is unveiled at a press conference this afternoon.

The 52-year-old takes over from Stuart McCall, whose short-term contract has not been renewed by chairman Dave King after he failed to lead the club back to the Scottish Premiership.

McCall had taken over the role in March on an interim basis following the resignation of Kenny McDowall, leading them to the Scottish Premiership play-off final where they lost to Motherwell.

King said earlier this week he had not ruled McCall out of the running for the permanent job but announced there were "five realistic candidates that might fit the bill" while also claiming the club would invest heavily in the squad over the summer.

Brentford announced in February that Warburton would leave at the end of the season.

Warburton was appointed Bees manager in December 2013, moving from his previous role as sporting director, following Uwe Rosler's departure to Wigan.

He led them to promotion from Sky Bet League One five months later and they finished last campaign in the Championship play-offs places, but were beaten over two legs by Middlesbrough in the semi-final.

In his two years as a coach at Brentford, he oversaw the opening of their new academy and was the co-founder of the NextGen series, a European club competition for elite under-19 teams - the forerunner to the Uefa Youth League - that ran for two seasons between 2011 and 2013, before its financial collapse.

Warburton said earlier this month: "From my point of view they are a massive club. I have huge respect for the size of the club and the fan base at Rangers. Who wouldn't?

"I am well aware of the tradition and history of the club so I would never be anything other than absolutely respectful of a club of that stature."

Warburton declined to comment ahead of this afternoon's press conference, but he's delighted to land the job he wanted most after recently being linked with Fulham and Sheffield Wednesday.

Warburton has only been a manager in his own right for the last 18 months, but has extensive experience at all levels of the game after quitting his job as a trader at the age of 40 to study football coaching.

A modest defender, he played early in his career under Jock Wallace at Leicester City before moving into non-league football with Enfield Town.

He rose through the ranks at Watford to become their youth academy director before he was poached by Brentford and appointed sporting director.

Rangers are convinced they have the man who can deliver success at first team level and also point the way in how best to restructure their entire football academy at Murray Park.

Warburton has never worked in Scottish football but, of course, number two Weir has extensive experience of the game here after successful spells as a player with Falkirk, Hearts and Rangers.

Belfast Telegraph

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