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Stuart McCall listened to Walter Smith's warning but has no regrets

By Andy Newport

Published 07/04/2015

Rangers manager Stuart McCall
Rangers manager Stuart McCall

Rangers boss Stuart McCall has revealed he was warned about taking over at Ibrox by Walter Smith - but insists he has made the right decision.

The former Gers midfielder steered his new side to their third victory on the bounce with Sunday's 2-1 win over Hearts.

It was a crucial triumph that moved them back into second place in the Scottish Championship and looks to have restored vital momentum ahead of the end-of-season play-offs.

McCall has managed to unite a forlorn band of players since taking over a month ago and quickly transformed them into real promotion contenders, but he has revealed nine-in-a-row boss Smith - who McCall says was the 'greatest manager he ever worked for' - called to make sure the former Scotland international knew what he was letting himself in for when he agreed to replace Kenny McDowall.

McCall, who still does not know if he will remain in charge beyond the summer, said: "Walter Smith rang me up on the day I took the job but, in fairness, he understood I would never have got the opportunity to manage such a wonderful club like this (were it not for the club's current circumstances).

"Even though I knew it was a gamble and the pitfalls, just to be part of it has been great.

"Regardless of what happens at the end of the season, I have relished every minute of it and I'm thoroughly enjoying it, especially with the results being good."

Rangers' promotion hopes looked to have crumbled earlier this season as previous bosses Ally McCoist and McDowall struggled to maintain the required levels of morale and confidence amid the din generated by the club's bitter off-field civil war.

Dave King's boardroom coup saw McCall brought in to rally the troops and his impact has been impressive.

Newly-crowned Scottish Championship winners Hearts were clapped on to the pitch by the home players at Ibrox, but it was Rangers who left the field to cheers after clinging onto victory.

Rangers take on Queen of the South at Palmerston on Thursday night and McCall is expecting another battle after Gers lost 2-0 under McCoist's charge the last time they visited in December.

He said: "I saw Queen of the South against Hibs and they are well organised and we know what happened the last time we were down there.

"It was a tough night so they'll be confident as well after their victory. But the momentum carries on and we are going to have to be at our best on Thursday."

Belfast Telegraph

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