LEE McCulloch has taken his share of the blame for Rangers’ disastrous campaign in the Championship last season which he describes as a car crash, but he insists Mark Warburton and David Weir are the right men to deliver a revival in fortunes.
McCulloch, who officially joined Kilmarnock today as assistant player-coach, was one of 11 players released and publicly criticised by chairman Dave King for under-performing and failing in their mission to win promotion.
However, unlike Ian Black, Jon Daly, Richard Foster and Kris Boyd – now back at Kilmarnock for a third time – he accepts culpability.
McCulloch, who spent eight years with Rangers, said: “The last year with all the off-the-field stuff wasn’t good.
“There was obviously massive uncertainty, fans demonstrations because they weren’t happy with the board – and you could argue rightly so – and we had three managers.
“We had a team playing for most of the season with no confidence whatsoever. So it was tough and it ended up a wee bit of a car crash.
“You’ve got to look on it as a disappointment when you’re Glasgow Rangers and you can only come third in the Championship. In fact, that’s an understatement. Criticism of the players is something that’s going to happen when you’re at a club that size. With the expectations there, to come third in the second tier is not good enough so players just have to take that criticism.
“As a captain, I took it and I don’t have a problem with that because it was deserved. Some people have had a go back but everyone’s entitled to their opinion.
“I don’t want to be drawn into that. How could I have a go at Rangers after what the fans and the club and everyone inside it have given me during my time there?
“Overall, though, I had eight fantastic years at the club, winning five league titles and five cups.
“I won a place in the Hall of Fame and played in the Uefa Cup final as well as being captain for a good few years, so I’m not looking back with any negativity.
“This is the first chance I’ve had to thank the Rangers fans for all the support I’ve had from them. I always gave 100 per cent when I played and, although some performances were good and others were bad, I’ve no regrets about my career there and I wish the club all the best.
“I’ve been a lifelong fan and they’re still close to my heart. It’s a place I love and I have fantastic memories which I’ll take to my grave but this is a new chapter for me.”
McCulloch, who said he turned down two manager’s jobs and playing contracts to join Killie, revealed he has spoken to Warburton and his good friend Weir about their Rangers plans.
He said: “I did have a chat with them and what they’re going to do over there seems exciting. In my opinion, though, they’re going to need a little bit of time because they’re going to totally revamp the club, including the way the team has played in the last three or four years.
“Hopefully, the fans will be patient with them because I’m 99 per cent sure that they are going to get it right and have that club challenging again.”