Halliday and Allan ‘crucial’, says Bob Malcolm

BOB Malcolm has backed Mark Warburton’s capture of Andy Halliday and his pursuit of Scott Allan as he believes having “Rangers men” will be crucial in the Championship title race this season.

Rangers' Andrew Halliday remains focused at training. PIcture: SNS

Malcolm, who had nine years as a player at Ibrox, knows Halliday well having worked with the midfielder in the second half of the 2013-14 season at Blackpool when Barry Ferguson and he took over the team after Paul Ince and Alex Rae were let go.

Malcolm said: “I think it’s really important to have Rangers men about the club and I’m also pleased that Mark Warburton and Davie Weir are going down the route of buying British players.

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“Davie, of course, knows the club so well even if he has been away for a few years and that will be very important for Mark Warburton.

“The big question, of course, is whether the lads they have signed from England are able to handle playing for Rangers.

“They might be comfortable in front of 8,000 or 9,000 but it will be a different ball game playing before 40,000-plus every other week. I just hope they don’t get caught like rabbits in the headlights because it has happened a few times in the past.

“Players with big reputations have come to Rangers and have basically flopped. World Cup winners have been at the club and struggled to handle it so these guys need to be good characters.

“I’m sure Mark Warburton and Davie Weir will do their best to ensure that they get the right types – and I think they have already said that.”

Malcolm, assistant to Ferguson at Clyde, contends that Halliday offers great versatility to Rangers, who, ironically, face Hibs at Easter Road today in what is sure to be a feisty affair in view of the Allan situation.

Malcolm said: “He’s a good lad and the great thing about him is that he can play different positions. When he first came to us at Blackpool he wanted to play centre midfield but he ended up doing a great job for us at left-back.

“The other good quality Andy has is that if you play him on the right he can cut in and have shots at goal with his left foot.

“He’s a big Rangers fan and he was born and brought up in Govan so he knows what the club is all about.”