Le Guen: Chairman supports Ferguson axe

January 3, 2007

Rangers manager Paul Le Guen insists chairman Sir David Murray backed his decision to strip Barry Ferguson of the captaincy.

Ferguson, 28, looks certain to have played his last game for the club after being dropped for yesterday's 1-0 Bank of Scotland Premier League win at Motherwell.

Afterwards, Le Guen claimed he took the decision because he was being undermined by his skipper.

The captain's armband will remain with Gavin Rae for now, after he assumed the role at Fir Park.

Le Guen is well aware the controversial move could ultimately cost him his own job, admitting his position was now 'precarious'.

But the Gers boss says he is supported by Murray, who was knighted in the New Year's Honours.

'He backs me,' stated Le Guen.

'I am used to speaking to him regularly but what we say remains between us.'

Ferguson appeared to be back to his inspirational best after a series of injuries.

And Le Guen was keen to stress his decision to drop the midfielder had nothing to do with his performances on the park.

He said: 'He is a great player, a massive player and I am aware of that.

'I am respectful of what he has done here.

'That's why I kept him as the captain when I arrived but now I have decided to change.

'Gavin will be my first captain, then perhaps Dado Prso or someone else. But I must feel we are all together.

'I am fully aware of the impact of this decision. But I am the manager, I am the boss.'

Fans who made the trip to Motherwell made it clear whose side they were on.

They chanted Ferguson's name throughout the match and a group of supporters held aloft a banner, which read `Le Guen Out'.

But the beleaguered boss added: 'I took a number of weeks to make this decision because I was totally aware of the reaction.

'But they cannot know exactly what has happened inside.'

Le Guen refused to go into the details of Ferguson's behaviour behind the scenes.

But, when asked if his skipper was not carrying out his instructions on the pitch, the Rangers manager conceded: 'It is a part of the problem, yes.'

Meanwhile, Rae admits he is now rethinking his decision to quit Ibrox this month.

The 29-year-old midfielder has made just three starts this season and revealed last week he was considering looking elsewhere for first-team football.

But he says being handed the captain's armband changes everything.

He said: 'There was a possibility of leaving because I'm out of contract in the summer.

'If I wasn't playing regularly, I thought it might be better to move on. But it's all up in the air now.

'If I was to play most weeks here, I would be delighted to stay.'