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McGovern backs Nicholl to be a big hit at Rangers


By Gareth Hanna

Rangers have made a "clever move" by bringing in Jimmy Nicholl, says Northern Ireland goalkeeper Michael McGovern.

Nicholl will be appointed assistant manager to Graeme Murty at Ibrox this week and is expected to continue his assistant coach role with Northern Ireland.

It's on national duty that McGovern has experienced first-hand what Nicholl offers, and he says Rangers should expect an enthusiastic personality.

"A lot of people who are Jimmy's age choose not to work," said McGovern.

"The fact he wants to be involved and on the training pitch every day shows the enthusiasm he has for the game, and it's infectious. He'll be a great appointment for Rangers.

"I can understand that some people might think he's old school but I can tell you he is anything but old school."

Nicholl played for Manchester United and had two spells at Rangers during a career that also saw him feature in both the 1982 and 1986 World Cup finals for Northern Ireland. Those experiences, coupled with a passion for the Light Blues, is another factor that McGovern says will be of huge benefit to the Ibrox outfit.

"It's a clever move from Rangers because you've got Graeme Murty who is a young coach and Jimmy could complement him with his wealth of experience," he said.

"He has obviously been at Rangers as a player during a fantastic career. His CV means he will command instant respect from all the players in the dressing room and he's a really positive influence about the place.

"He's a great storyteller, and I'd often sit and have a cup of tea with him, listening to his tales.

"He has told me about Rangers and Graeme Souness and also Manchester United. I'm sure he'd be absolutely made up to be going back there.

"Jimmy spoke after Euro 2016 how he had gone from putting out the kits as Cowdenbeath manager to the European Championships in such a short space of time. And now to be going to Rangers is fantastic."

Nicholl began his management career in 1990 when he was appointed player/manager at Raith Rovers.

He guided the club to the Scottish League Cup and two First Division titles.

Nicholl went on to manage Milwall and Cowdenbeath, although stepped back from the number one role soon after accepting a job as Michael O'Neill's number two in 2015. He is currently assistant manager to Paul Hartley at Falkirk.

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