Bjorklund: McInnes decided Aberdeen were in better state than Rangers

Derek McInnes celebrates a Rangers goal against Celtic in 1996 alongside Joachim Bjorklund. Picture: SNS
Derek McInnes celebrates a Rangers goal against Celtic in 1996 alongside Joachim Bjorklund. Picture: SNS
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Joachim Bjorklund admits he was surprised that Derek McInnes turned down the chance to become Rangers manager last year and is worried that his former Ibrox team-mate may not be asked again.

Rangers fans appear to be changing their tune on Graeme Murty becoming the permanent boss following the 3-2 loss to Celtic and the home defeat by Kilmarnock ten days ago.

McInnes ruled himself out last November when he re-committed to Aberdeen after Rangers had sought permission to speak to him, and that provoked a spikey response from Ibrox chairman Dave King.

Bjorklund reckons that was a mistake but is intrigued to know if McInnes would take the job in the summer if Rangers came back in for him.

“I was surprised that Derek didn’t take the Rangers job because I know it’s a club close to his heart,” the Swede said.

“It was a very big decision to take because when you get asked by a major club to become their manager you usually don’t say no.

“It is not all that often that an opportunity like that comes along and he will have known that it might be his one and only chance to manage Rangers.

“That must have been weighing heavy on him but he obviously came to the conclusion that it wasn’t the right move for him at that time.

“I don’t know for sure but he probably decided that Aberdeen were in a better situation than Rangers

“They have picked up again after some bad results and they have a fantastic chance of reaching the Scottish Cup final.

“The thing is, Rangers will get stronger, that’s for sure. It may take another year or two but they will be back at the very top.

“However, Derek decided he didn’t want to be the man that tries to get them there.

“Will he be asked again? You never know, but you wouldn’t think so.

“However, it would be interesting to see what his thoughts would be if he was approached again in the summer.”

With Celtic now near certainties to make it seven titles in a row, Bjorklund is worried they will get to ten.

The former Ibrox centre back, now assistant boss at Hammarby, was part of the Rangers team, alongside McInnes, who won nine in a row but were denied a tenth title by Celtic.

“Looking back, when we were going for ten in a row I couldn’t have imagined that 20 years later Rangers would be trying so hard just to get one title.

“Who could have predicted that? In 1997, Rangers were a powerhouse not only in Scotland but in the UK.

“It’s such a shame to see the problems they’ve suffered in the last few years.

“But at least it now seems like they’re on the right track again. I just hope they get a league title before Celtic get to the ten.

“The fans know it will take some time. But I have no doubts they will get back to the top again.

“It’s hard because they want to get there so quickly but they will get there.”