Davie Weir: Absence of scouts an issue at Rangers

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DAVIE Weir admits Rangers’ lack of scouting network is hampering Mark Warburton’s Ibrox rebuilding job.

The Light Blues have been forced to operate without a team of spies since the club’s liquidation three summers ago.

Davie Weir, right, with Mark Warburton, has admitted Rangers' lack of a scouting network is hampering recruitment efforts. Picture: PA

Davie Weir, right, with Mark Warburton, has admitted Rangers' lack of a scouting network is hampering recruitment efforts. Picture: PA

Former Brentford boss Warburton has now been brought in to pick up the pieces after last season’s failed promotion bid.

He has so far signed up keeper Wes Foderingham and defenders Danny Wilson and Rob Kiernan - but the Gers’ faithful are keen to see further additions.

However, the Englishman’s number two Weir admitted there has still been no progress on re-establishing a scouting set-up.

He said: “Scouting is a fundamental part of any football club and it is a big thing Rangers have lacked.

Scouting is a fundamental part of any football club and it is a big thing Rangers have lacked

Davie Weir

“The scouting structure hasn’t been as thorough as it needs to be and my experience is that the best clubs have the best scouting structures. It is something that over a period of time the club needs to put in place.

“It is definitely one thing we are working on but there has been no changes as of yet.

“Is that having an impact on attempts to rebuild the squad? Yeah, it makes it harder obviously.

“If you have got people and a structure in place that helps. But that takes time. It’s important that with players we make the right decisions and it’s the same staffing wise.”

The scale of the renovation work needed at Ibrox ahead of the club’s Ladbrokes Championship promotion drive is not lost on Weir.

The club released 11 first-team players after their humiliating play-off final defeat to Motherwell while a handful of youngsters were also axed.

But assistant manager Weir insists Warburton will not rush his recruitment.

“We are working on it,” he said when asked about the club signing targets. “I think 16 or 17 players left at the end of last season so we have brought in some additions and quality additions at that.

“It is important that we get some quality in to help the group that is already here.

“We are working on it but nothing that is imminent.

“We have not found that (playing in the Championship is putting players off). We have brought players in from good levels and everybody we’ve spoken to and brought in have been really keen to come here.

“They see the infrastructure, the see the stadium, they see the training ground and Rangers have got a lot of things that people want.

“I don’t think you can put a number on how many players we need. It’s about quality rather than quantity.

“It’s difficult but it’s maybe better to miss out on certain players if you are not sure about them, rather than jump in and regret it later.”

Weir was questioned on rumours linking Gers with Hibernian midfielder Scott Allan but preferred to keep quiet.

He was, however, happy to discuss former Derby battler John Eustace, who will join fellow trialists Reece Wabara and Andy Halliday when Rangers visit Tottenham’s Enfield training base on Friday, insisting the 35-year-old will have no problem proving his fitness after a serious knee injury ruled him out for the second half of last term.

Weir said: “I think that everything’s all right with John’s knee. There’s no doubt that he’s been checked out, it’s just a matter of getting fit now.”

Rangers will take on a Spurs youth side in a behind-closed-door clash while in London.

They will then return to Scotland to take on Burnley at Ibrox on July 21 for their only public workout before kicking off their campaign with a Petrofac Training Cup clash with Hibs four days later.

But Weir is not worried his team will be short of match practice.

He said: “That was our choice. We came in relatively late and we had to adjust to that.

“We are happy with the plans we have in place. We have a couple of behind-closed-doors games as well as Burnley at Ibrox, so it’s up to us to get ready for the start of the season.”

Meanwhile, it is understood former skipper Lee McCulloch will not be returning to the club as a coach.