Vol. 5 Num 926 Sat. January 06, 2007  

Smith poised for Rangers return

Rangers are set to name Scotland boss Walter Smith as their manager for a second time, with the club's former star striker Ally McCoist joining him as back-up, the BBC reported on Friday.

The pair had emerged as favourites to return to Ibrox following the shock sacking of French coach Paul Le Guen on Thursday.

Le Guen lasted only seven months with Rangers during which time the Glasgow giants made their worst start ever to the Premier League and he increasingly came under attack from several fronts.

His demotion of skipper Barry Ferguson on Monday proved to be the last straw and the club announced that the former Lyon coach would be leaving by mutual consent.

Smith coached Rangers to nine successive titles before leaving to join Everton in the English Premiership in 1998 where he had little success.

Since then arch-rivals Celtic have regained dominance in Scottish football and are set to win the league title once again this year with a 17 point advantage over second-placed Rangers.

Rangers chairman David Murray, however, has maintained close links with Smith and the BBC said his return to the club was set to be announced.

Sheffield United assistant manager Stuart McColl could also be part of the new management setup.

Rangers would first have to agree terms with the Scotland national team who are the suprise leaders of their Euro 2008 qualifying group under Smith's astute tutelage.

McCoist, who has become a leading television pundit since he retired from football, has already been working with Smith in the Scotland coaching team.