McDowall looks to get Rangers back on track

Rangers caretaker manager Kenny McDowall says his aim is to get the Ibrox club back to performing on the pitch following a turbulent one off it.

McDowall was promoted from Rangers assistant manager till the end of the season this week after Ally McCoist was placed on gardening leave the day before the board faced a stormy AGM in front of disgruntled shareholders.

McDowall, who joined the club from bitter rivals Celtic in 2007 was first team coach under Walter Smith, became assistant manager when McCoist was appointed as manager in 2011. 

And McDowall, who played for Partick Thistle and St Mirren winning the 1987 Scottish Cup with the latter when they beat Dundee United, admitted replacing club legend McCoist in the dugout would be a hard task.

"It`s a difficult circumstance that I have found myself in, but I have to be professional and handle that," said the 51-year-old.

"This is a massive club with a tremendous fan base who deserve the best. All I can do is my best and hope that is good enough to get the team winning on the park.

"I`ve been in this game for a long time and I`ve worked with some top guys. I was brought to the club by a great man in Walter Smith and then I worked with another great manager in Ally McCoist. I owe it to them both to step up and do it for them as much as anything."

In a shake-up of the coaching set-up Gordon Durie will join McDowall in the dugout with former first team coach Ian Durrant dropping down to the under 20s while veteran Lee McCulloch will take on a player-coach role.

After recent defeats to Alloa and Queen of the South, McDowall is plotting a win for his side against Hibernian at Easter Road on Sunday.

The Gers are currently 12 points behind Hearts in the race for the one automatic promotion spot back to the Scottish Premiership, with Hibs closing in on Rangers in second.

The Easter Road side won at Ibrox back in September and McDowall knows his side need to put in a good performance if they are to gain revenge and try to catch Hearts.

"We`ve had a chat with the players and they know and appreciate that they have to do better on the park in terms of consistency," McDowall added.

"My ambition is to win for Rangers against Hibs and win one game at a time. I`m focussing on that just now as it`s the most important thing. 

"We are football men and that`s where we feel we are in control, setting formations and trying to win games, it`s then up to the players to go out there and win the games for you."

Elsewhere on Saturday, Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic take on second bottom Ross County at Parkhead.

Dundee United closed the gap on Celtic at the top to four points with a 2-1 win over them last Sunday. It ended an eight-match winning run for Celtic and their Norwegian midfielder Stefan Johansen wants to get straight back to winning ways.

"Good teams bounce back right away so we will just focus on that game because we want to get back on the winning run," Johansen said.

"Ross County try to counter-attack but if we do our own things well enough, then we should beat them."