Philippe Senderos not fazed by being Rangers’ fallback option

New signing Philippe Senderos hopes he can extend his stay at Rangers beyond this season. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
New signing Philippe Senderos hopes he can extend his stay at Rangers beyond this season. Picture: Craig Williamson/SNS
Share this article
31
Have your say

Philippe Senderos insists he never felt concerned he was being regarded by Rangers as a second-choice target.

The Swiss international central defender joined the Ibrox club on a one-year contract on Wednesday, having spent two weeks training with Mark Warburton’s squad earlier in August.

Rangers only firmed up an offer to Senderos after their bid to sign former England defender Joleon Lescott fell through.

But Senderos, who was a free agent after leaving Grasshoppers Zurich at the end of last season, remained relaxed about the situation.

“I didn’t really think about it,” said the 31-year-old former Arsenal, Fulham, Valencia and Aston Villa player.

“I tried to focus on my job and whatever is in my hands. I knew Rangers were looking at other people but that was the same as other teams.

“The manager didn’t speak to me about that, not at all. I was here to train and I came in to do that. They were happy with me and in the end I signed. I don’t get involved in other players or whatever they have been discussing.

“On my part, this move was never in doubt. I came up here and I was ready to train with a view to signing. It took a bit longer but there weren’t any problems, it was just about the timing. I was told I would be signing during the week building up to the international break.

“I trained for the first week and then I went away and came back the week after and signed at the end of that week. It wasn’t really a trial, it was just to see if I was physically fit and able. Because I didn’t have a team, I didn’t get to do a pre-season so they wanted to see where I was physically before we even started talking about details. That’s what happened and I’m really pleased.

“Training has been really good and now it’s official I can relax a little bit more. Training without having anything signed is always a strange situation so I’m really pleased it’s now all done.

“The big selling point for me was being back at a big club. I had the opportunity to go to other places, but I refused.

“I was waiting for something like this and when I had the opportunity to come up here and train, I thought this was my chance to show I was in good shape and it happened.

“Playing for a top team like Rangers was a big factor for me and the manager gave me a lot of confidence with the way he wants to play and the ideas he has going forward because they are the same as mine.

“It is the start of something special here. Rangers being back in the Premiership is a big thing and being here at the beginning of this is very 
exciting.”

Rangers supporters will look to Senderos to help address the defensive vulnerability which is widely regarded as the biggest issue facing Warburton’s side in the top flight this season. But the new man feels the early assessments of Rangers in the campaign have been harsh.

“I can’t understand the criticism as the team is unbeaten this season,” added Senderos. “They have done really well, but of course the expectation is very high at a club like 
Rangers.

“Everyone expects us to be beating every team in every single game but the story of football is not like this. You are actually playing against an opposition who always want to beat and do well against Rangers. So the lads have done really well.

“What can I bring to the table? I have some experience and I hope I can help around the place. Hopefully I can give my all and do well for 
Rangers.”

Senderos also believes his latest move can help him reclaim his place in the Swiss national team and fulfil his ambition of playing in a fourth World Cup finals for his country in 2018.

“The reason I went back to Grasshoppers last season was to try and make the squad for Euro 2016,” he said.

“I played in the friendly games right up until June but unfortunately for me the coach [Vladimir Petkovic] picked someone else for the finals and I didn’t make it. That was a big disappointment.

“I’m going to work as hard as I can and play as well as I can and then hopefully the coach will think about me again for Switzerland. I’ve played in three World Cups for my country and it’s a big part of my career.

“But my focus now is just on Rangers, then I’ll see what happens. I have signed here for a year but hope I can extend that. I feel I can play for another five or six years. As long as I have the hunger and desire I have now, I’ll play for as long as my body lets me.”