Lee Hodson has described Mark Warburton as the “complete manager” after admitting he was shocked when he got the call to come to Rangers.
Hodson worked under Warburton at the Watford youth academy but had no idea the Ibrox boss was watching him closely last season while on loan at Kilmarnock from MK Dons.
The Northern Ireland full back said: “I’ve known Mark for ages but I never really thought anything of it.
“I went on loan to Kilmarnock last season from MK Dons and my first game for Killie was against Rangers at Ibrox in the Cup.
“I needed to play games and I wanted to make the Euros squad for Northern Ireland so at that time I just wanted to get out on loan and get some matches under my belt.
“Mark was obviously the manager when I played against Rangers and after that game they must have been watching me.
“It happened from there but it was never on my mind that moving to Kilmarnock would lead to such a massive opportunity for me.
“I had Mark as a manager from Under-13s to 18s and back then I knew he had everything to be a top class manager, in a top league, and manage a top club. He had his time at Brentford and did very well and showed what he can do as a manager. He got the opportunity to come to Rangers and last season he showed his style of play and philosophy and all the lads have bought into it.”
Hodson, who made his debut in Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Annan, feels Warburton has already shown he has all the required attributes of a modern manager.
He said: “He has got a bit of everything. He has the technical side, the tactical side, he has got man management and that shows. Every player when they get on the pitch wants to play for the club and wants to play for the manager and that is very important.
“There are no egos and everyone wants to do well and be successful. That is a credit to Mark that he can bring in players that settle in and add to the group.”
Rangers will effectively qualify for the knockout phase of the Betfred Cup tonight by beating East Stirlingshire at Ochilview when new striker Joe Dodoo will make his debut.