'Straight-shooter' Kevin Muscat and current Rangers duo named as management dream team by Ibrox legend

Rangers legend Ian Ferguson knows all about what it takes to bring success to Ibrox.
Kevin Muscat farewells the Melbourne Victory crowd after coaching his last match for the club in 2019. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)Kevin Muscat farewells the Melbourne Victory crowd after coaching his last match for the club in 2019. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Kevin Muscat farewells the Melbourne Victory crowd after coaching his last match for the club in 2019. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The combative midfielder won 10 top flight titles as a Rangers player under Graeme Souness, Walter Smith and Dick Advocaat during a 12-year stay between 1988 and 2000.

He moved to Australia to end his playing career and is now enjoying a career in management Down Under where the 56-year-old is currently in charge of Stirling Macedonia in the National Premier League Western Australia.

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Ferguson believes that another ex-Ranger who followed a similar route is a strong contender for the job as he talked up the credentials of Kevin Muscat as the ideal successor to the sacked Michael Beale.

Muscat was part of the Rangers squad which won a domestic treble under Alex McLeish in 2002-03 before moving to Australia, where he played for Melbourne Victory for six years, before managing them to an A-League Premiership and Championship double on two occasions, having previously served as assistant coach to Ange Postecoglou.

He was appointed manager of Yokohama F. Marinos in July 2021, again succeeding former Celtic boss Postecoglou, and won the J1 League title in 2022 while his side are four points off the top in the current season with five matches left to play of the current season.

Ferguson, who has also managed Perth Glory and Northern Fury, likes the idea of Muscat becoming the next manager of Rangers with the current caretaker team of Steven Davis and Alex Rae kept on as his assistants.

Ferguson told altindex.com: “Muscat is at a good age (50) to come in and take the reins. I think Rangers need a coach with some experience to steady the ship, and get a bit of credibility back and confidence within the place.

“Is he good enough to take over Rangers? You just don’t know. He certainly knows Rangers, he’s been there under Alex McLeish.

“He knows how big the club is and what the expectations are as a player, which is important. That’s what’s missing at the moment. Someone with a bit of authority.

“Who is going to come across as ‘the gaffer’, the man, the main person here. I think if he picks the right people to be around him that can help him, he would be a good choice.

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“I don’t mean it as an old cliche but the right types who know Scottish football and what it takes to win week in, week out - and transfer that to the players.

“That should be something on the checklist, for me. That people have the mentality to be a Rangers player. That doesn’t mean just a really good player.

“It means winning all the time, not setting for three wins, two draws and a defeat. It’s a tough place, a heavy strip to wear if things are going wrong.

“What are they like under pressure? In the dressing room? Away from football? All the things to see if they are going to survive and excel at Rangers.

“I don’t see why Muscat wouldn’t do a good job with the right people at his side. He might not know Scottish football at this time. They could be in at Ibrox at the moment with that knowledge to point him in the right direction. Then I’m sure it wouldn’t take him long.

“Steven is in charge at the moment and Rangers say they’re not going to be rushed because they want to get this appointment right. I agree with that. Him and Alex Rae are out there to prove their own point.

“If someone like Muscat, kept these guys about they’re going to be invaluable, they’re going to be great around the place.

“They know what it’s all about and understand what’s needed. They will know how to handle things, give the right information to players so they know what to expect when they put the jersey on.”

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Muscast is the current second favourite for the Rangers job with bookmakers, behind Frank Lampard, with reports indicating that Ibrox chiefs have already spoken to both candidates, while Belgian coach Phillipe Clement, most recently in charge of Monaco, has also been linked.

Ferguson, however, would advocate for Muscat, adding: “[He] did a great job at Melbourne Victory and in the J-League, winning titles in different countries.

“And he’s still is doing a great job. His Melbourne teams were well organised, they had a good structure to them and players knew their roles well. Everyone was drilled well.

“They were a good attacking team and, when they lost the ball, they found a defensive shape that made them difficult to break down.

“Even though he’s worked with Ange, he’s his own man. A strong character who knows what he wants out of players.

“From what I know, he’s a straight-shooter, he won’t tip-toe around. But he’s got the right temperament, too, to put an arm round someone when it’s not going right for them.”



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