McCann: Rangers clear favourites

Date published: Wednesday 24th June 2015 11:16

The former Brentford boss, who took over at Ibrox along with assistant Davie Weir last week, has wasted no time in shaping his squad ahead of the new campaign.

After failing to come through the Championship last season, Rangers shipped out 11 out-of-contract players leaving the Englishman with a huge rebuilding job.

He has already brought in free agent Danny Wilson and fellow central defender Rob Kiernan from Wigan and is close to finalising a deal for former Derby County midfielder John Eustace.

And McCann, who played almost 120 times for the Ibrox club between 1998 and 2003, believes the calibre of player being drafted in will ensure the title ends up in the Govan trophy room next May.

Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ, he said: “The one that sticks out is Danny Wilson. I think he had options, none more so than Celtic we believe, so to knock back the possibility of Champions League football to go back to Rangers where he started must have pricked up a lot of ears.

‘Thought process’

“But I have read Danny’s comments and he feels it is the best move for his career at the minute. A lot of people have questioned his thought process in choosing that but he feels it is the right move and as a footballer you have to choose the right things.

“Rangers are still an enormous club. I know they still have their troubles at the minute but I believe in Mark Warburton and Davie Weir they have a very good management team there. Mark Warburton did some terrific things with Brentford and a lot of people were surprised he didn’t stay in that job but Brentford’s loss is definitely Rangers’ gain.

“As far as I can see he comes with a brand of football and with a real knowledge of the game. He has a fantastic knowledge of course of English players and I think you can already see the recruitment he is already looking at – apart from Danny Wilson – will come from within those leagues. I expect positive things for Rangers this season, I really do.”

McCann is looking for more new faces through the Ibrox door in the near future and believes Warburton and Weir should already be targeting players who will form the backbone of the Championship side.

“Of course they still need to strengthen at the back,” he added. “I think they need a whole spine of the team. They let so many guys go out of contract and not too many of those guys can put their hands up and say they deserved a new contract.

“But that’s just life, that’s football. They are all professional enough to say that but I think they need a real solid spine. They have flair there but the one thing about Mark Warburton is he won’t neglect the youth and I think that will probably be part of the remit to start injecting more youth there.

“They have talented players – I think Rangers and Celtic can attract that still – but it’s whether they hit the roof and they don’t seem to go on is a problem so I think he will go in and strengthen right throughout the team. I think he has almost a clean deck to start from. So I expect big things from Mark Warburton and Rangers this season.

‘Marker down’

“I expect them to win the league. I did last year and I was absolutely shocked (that they didn’t). But one thing that Hearts did last year was right from the very outset, the first game last season, they put their marker down. They put Rangers on the ropes and Rangers just didn’t recover.

“Hearts went on and that is something Rangers must do but they are going to face a real challenge, and I mean a real challenge, from the other side of the city in Edinburgh in Hibs.

“I think Alan Stubbs had Hibs playing some brilliant stuff last year. They came up a bit short of course, meeting Rangers in the play-offs, but he has already started strengthening. He did that almost immediately after the season.

“So they will be strong, St Mirren coming down, I’m not sure they will have enough to challenge Rangers and Hibs so I do think it will be between those but I fully believe because of the manager position with Mark Warburton coming in with a freshness and a blank canvas I think they will be definite favourites to win the league in my opinion”

Rangers open up the new campaign at home to relegated St Mirren on Saturday, August 8. Click here for their fixtures for the 2015/16 season.

McCann was speaking from Broadwood Stadium in Cumbernauld, home of Clyde FC, where he was taking part in PFA Scotland’s coaching scheme to help out-of-work players maintain their fitness.

Related Articles