RANGERS manager Stuart McCall has revealed he was warned about taking over at Ibrox by Walter Smith – but insists he has made the right decision.
The former Rangers mid-fielder steered his new side to their third victory on the bounce with Sunday’s 2-1 win over Hearts.
It was a crucial triumph that moves Rangers back into second place in the Scottish Championship and looks to have restored vital momentum ahead of the end-of-season play-offs.
McCall has managed to unite a forlorn band of players since taking over a month ago and quickly transformed them into real promotion contenders.
But he has revealed nine-in-a-row boss Smith – who McCall says was the “greatest manager” he ever worked for – called after he agreed to replace Kenny
McCall, who still does not know if he will remain in charge beyond the summer, said: “Walter Smith rung me up on the day I took the job and asked if I knew what I’d let myself in for. In fairness, he understood I would never have got the opportunity to manage such a wonderful club like this [were it not for the club’s current circumstances].
“Even though I knew it was a gamble and the pitfalls, just to be part of it has been great. Regardless of what happens at the end of the season, I have relished every minute of it and I’m thoroughly enjoying it, especially with the results being good.”
Rangers’ promotion hopes looked to have crumbled earlier this season as previous bosses Ally McCoist and McDowall struggled to maintain the required levels of morale and confidence amid the din generated by the club’s bitter off-field civil war.
Following Dave King’s boardroom coup, McCall was brought in to rally the troops and his impact has been impressive.
Newly-crowned Scottish Championship winners Hearts were clapped on to the pitch by the home players at Ibrox, but it was Rangers who left the field to cheers after clinging onto victory following skipper Lee McCulloch’s red card just before the break.
Kenny Miller and Haris Vuckic netted a pair of clinical strikes and McCall believes the quality of his side’s goals only proves that the feelgood factor has returned to Ibrox.
He told the Rangers website: “They were brilliant and the first was a good move down the left.
“I think everyone knows Lee Wallace’s capabilities when he gets forwards. Nicky Law has played him in with a good weighted pass and it was a great cutback and a fantastic finish by Kenny. He is just playing off Nicky Clark at the moment and doing it really well.
“The second goal is why Haris played today. He’s got a goal in him, he’s a threat. He can come in on his left foot and do what he did, so it didn’t surprise me when he picked it up there that it ended up in the net.
“I felt for him at half-time. I explained to him that we had to bring him off and it was nothing to do with his performance, it was just because of the change of shape.
“He took it well, he understands, but what is good in the dressing room is that it’s not just the 11 or the 14. There’s about 22 lads and staff and everybody in there was congratulating each other for that performance. It’s good to keep momentum, belief and confidence high.”
Rangers take on Queen of the South at Palmerston on Thursday and McCall is expecting another battle after a 2-0 loss under McCoist’s charge the last time they visited in December.
He said: “I saw Queen of the South against Hibs and they are well organised and we know what happened the last time we were down there.
“It was a tough night, so they’ll be confident as well after their victory. But the momentum carries on and we are going to have to be at our best on Thursday.”
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