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Rangers: Former Northern Ireland international Jimmy Nicholl to take caretaker charge as Graeme Murty sacked


Jimmy Nicholl

Former Northern Ireland star Jimmy Nicholl will take caretaker charge of Rangers until the end of the season, alongside Jonatan Johansson.

Murty brought the 61-year-old to the club as assistant manager in January and Rangers confirmed on Tuesday that he would take control of the team until the summer, alongside fellow coach Johansson, who had been Pedro Caixinha's assitant during the Portuguese boss' time in charge at Ibrox.

Rangers currently sit three points behind second-placed Aberdeen and still have to face Kilmarnock at home before trips to Aberdeen and Hibernian to end the campaign.

Nicholl, a former Millwall and Rath Rovers boss, has been working as assistant to Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill since 2015 but only made his return to day-to-day club duties as Falkirk assistant in October - three years on from resigning as Cowdenbeath boss.

He was then brought to Rangers, the club he played for in two separate stints, and when he arrived back at Ibrox in January, Nicholl spoke of his surprise at his late-blooming coaching career.

"It just came out of the blue," he said. "I'd had two spells at Cowdenbeath and then I was at Northern Ireland with Michael O'Neill. The first surprise was when Michael asked me to join him. That was a surprise because they were top of the group, but he invited me in and I was thankful and I'm still enjoying it.

"But that's you back to just working at the weekends and Michael phoning you on the Thursday, telling you who to go and watch in Scottish football on the Saturday and then report back.

"I never saw 7am for three years until Paul Hartley said, 'If I get the Falkirk job will you come in with me?' He gets the job, I go in and my life stage just changes.

"It's only when you go back into the full-time stuff that you say, 'Jeez I missed it'. It's only when you get back to the day-to-day stuff with the players that you think, 'Right, this is what it is all about'.

"At my age I'm still grateful that people think you can do a job. The satisfaction you get is the fact that the manager and people think you have got something to offer. I'll do my best to offer whatever I can."

Belfast Telegraph