Billy Davies gets Boyd backing for Rangers job as list of candidates grows amid a whirl of speculation

Opinion

While it seems Alex McLeish is a shoo-in for the Rangers managerial role after the confusing departure of Mark Warburton, it is worth stating that the former Ibrox chief isn’t the only candidate in the running.

With Warburton said to be on the brink of taking over at Championship outfit Nottingham Forest after he, along with assistant manager David Weir and recruitment chief Frank McParland, parted company with the Gers, speculation continues as to who will fill the void.

One name that has surfaced in the bubbling, melting pot of candidates is Billy Davies, and he has the backing of former Rangers attacker Kris Boyd.

Davies, who made 13 appearances for the club during his early playing career, is currently without a job and would no doubt jump at the chance of taking over in the hotseat.

Former Motherwell boss Davies, who was youth player at Manchester United, has a fair amount of pedigree, too. He led Derby County to Championship play-off triumph in 2007 and almost gained promotion for both Preston North End and Nottingham Forest, twice, during spells at those clubs.

And Kilmarnock ace Boyd believes Davies has the motivational skills, drive and ambition to get Rangers back on track. Boyd fell under the influence of Davies during a stint at Forest and he says he witnessed first hand just how his former gaffer works.

He said: “He got me back scoring goals inside a week after a difficult few months not playing at Middlesbrough. That didn’t happen by coincidence.¬†It wasn’t just me. There were three or four others at Forest who were lacking a bit of fitness and he had us out on bike runs at seven in the morning.

“A lot of the good work he’s done in England has gone unnoticed up here. And if you go back as far as Motherwell, they were fighting relegation when he took over. He kept them up and then they were challenging for Europe. When you at the stats, I don’t think there’s much comes near him.”

Davies isn’t alone in the list of potential new guardians, of course. Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes, who was a Gers player for five years during the time which the Glasgow giants won nine top flight titles in a row, constantly gets linked with the job due mainly to the fact that he is doing such sterling work with the Dons.

St Johnstone boss Tommy Wright is also said to be in the running, while outsiders include another former player, Frank de Boer, who is out of work since he was axed by Inter Milan. Names being bandied about also include Barry Ferguson, Graeme Souness, caretaker manager Graeme Murty, Neil Warnock, Steve Kean and Walter Smith.

The Rangers board, headed up by¬†chairman Dave King, know they have a big decision to make. Don’t expect them to rush it.