Former Rangers star Andy Halliday has opened up on almost being forced out of Ibrox by Pedro Caixinha and Mark Allen – and told how he almost immediately won Steven Gerrard over after the Liverpool icon replaced Caixinha.
Halliday was shipped out on loan to Azerbaijan under Caixinha and barely got a look in after being marked as a “bad egg” by the Portuguese but won a reprieve after impressing Gerrard in his first few days in charge.
The versatile boyhood Gers fan admitted that he was on a list on players given to Gerrard assessing the squad he had inherited and discovered his had been crossed out completely before Gerrard decided to give him another chance and take him on the club’s pre-season trip to Marbella.
“It was Mark Allen and Pedro Caixinha who were trying to work to get me out the door,” Halliday told Open Goal.
“Mark Allen stayed even though Pedro left so I think he was still under the demeanour I was a bad egg under Pedro, so that filtered back to Gerrard. It’s something me and him have spoken about since. I was under the impression I was going to go there and maybe my time was up at Rangers.
“I was still keeping myself fit, trying to train and do the right thing and be a good team-mate to help the boys out every day. I remember Gerrard pulling me in. He just said ‘By the way, you’re not scheduled to go to Marbella on Thursday’, so I was thinking that’s me done, then. If you’re not going on the pre-season trip as a member of the squad, you’re finished. Then he went, ‘But it’s because when I came into this football club, this is the list I got’ and showed me a piece of paper.
“It was all the players names with ticks, ticks, ticks and question marks. Mine just had a cross through it. He’s like, ‘When I came to this football club I was told you were a bad character around the dressing room, given your relationship with the previous manager, I’ve not seen this in the first few days so what’s happened there?’
“I said, ‘What you’ve seen in the first two to four days is me. I had a disagreement with the previous manager that I felt as if never really warranted the argument we ended up having, and our relationship turned sour from then but I will always give 100 percent to this football club, I’ve always tried to be a good teammate to my teammates’ and stuff like that.
“And he just said ‘You’re coming to Marbella with me, just keep up what you’ve done in the first four days because I’ve liked what I’ve seen’. So it was just a case of going over to Marbella and continuing that, I trained well, played well in the bounce games and he pulled me again when we came back from Marbella and said, ‘As long as I’m at this football club you’ll be part of it’, obviously in the early phases but it was brilliant to hear that.”