Support network vital – Warburton


Published: Tuesday 16th June 2015 by The News Editor

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Mark Warburton vowed to repair Rangers’ broken scouting network and dilapidated youth system after being unveiled as the club’s new manager on Monday.

The former Brentford boss becomes just the 15th man to manage the Ibrox outfit after Stuart McCall was overlooked for the role.

The Englishman – who will be assisted by former Gers skipper David Weir – has penned a three-year deal.

With just nine senior professionals left at the club, Warburton will have his work cut out piecing together a squad capable of meeting chairman Dave King’s demand that the club cruise to the Scottish Championship title next season.

But, on top of that, the 52-year-old says he is also ready to get down to rebuilding the scouting network which was binned following Gers’ liquidation meltdown.

Asked if he planned to hire a list of new spies, Warburton said: “Absolutely. We have to provide the support network to help the club go forward.

“The support network supports the first team – that’s our first obvious aim but then it filters down to the academy and various age groups.

“We have to take our time and do it right. It’s about firm foundations not short-term fixes. We have to prepare for the longer term here.”

And Warburton also wants to inject fresh impetus into a youth academy which saw its only real success story – midfielder Lewis Macleod – sold off for a knock-down £500,000 to Warburton’s old side back in January.

He said: “I love young players. I like working with the younger players, but they’ve got to deal with the experience of playing in front of 45,000 people.

“So it is about getting players in who add value on and off the pitch. It’s a big ask for a young player, so the balance is key. You want two or three of your older players to offer that mentoring role and help the young players come through.

“Our job is to create the environment and development for young and old players.

“I think we have to work with the youth system. The academy should be the heartbeat of the club, producing players who have a passion to play for that club. That will be our aim to make sure we work closely, give the boys the opportunity to progress, give them a pathway and hope they go from there.”

King has already said he is willing to spend “whatever it takes” to get Rangers promoted next term, but it is unlikely Warburton will want to spent all of the chairman’s cash at once.

He said: “A stat came out that last year at Brentford – we used the smallest number of players in the Championship.

“I think we used 24 in total so we prefer tight, lean squads. The players have to have a pathway to see the first team.

“There’s nothing worse than players training hard every day and not having a sniff of the first team. So our job is to get that number and the balance right and use young players when it is appropriate.

“They have to be good enough. If we can promote young academy players, then fantastic, but they have to be good enough to add value out there.”

Published: Tuesday 16th June 2015 by The News Editor

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