Smith says he wanted to job-share with Scotland

January 9, 2007

Newly-appointed Rangers manager Walter Smith has denied his resignation from the Scotland job was 'a bad day for the national team'.

A delighted Smith began his second tenure in charge at Ibrox but left behind an angry Scottish Football Association who have already threatened legal action against him and his new employers.

With compensation for the SFA still to be agreed, Smith appeared at a press conference at Rangers' Murray Park training ground alongside executive chairman Sir David Murray.

Smith had offered to split his time between Hampden and Ibrox until the end of the season but said: 'The SFA said to me it was one that they would not think about.

'I said I was prepared to whatever to make the change as smooth as possible but that wasn't something they wanted to do.'

And Smith denied he had left Scotland in the lurch, adding at a press conference televised by Sky Sports News: 'If you're saying that there's only one person who can manage the team and that's me then you've got a problem.

'But I think there are other people who can do the job, so I don't think you can say it's a bad day for the national team.'

Murray described the SFA's compensation demands as 'totally unrealistic'.

He said: 'They rejected our offer and we'll sort that out later. They came in with a figure which was totally unrealistic.'

Smith's appointment comes less than a week after Paul Le Guen's departure and Murray admitted his club had been in a hole when the Frenchman left.

He said: 'You're driven by results. Rangers Football Club rises and falls on results.

'If you're in a hole, stop digging. And that's what we've done.'

Smith ruled out instant changes to a side which is 17 points behind Celtic and out of both cups.

'We'll have to look (at the players) ourselves before we make decisions about what surgery is required for the team,' he said.

However, Murray did promise funds for the new manager, adding: 'Of course, there will be money available.'

Former Ibrox striker Ally McCoist will be Smith's assistant.

And McCoist was keen to stress that Scotland captain Barry Ferguson, stripped of the Rangers captaincy by Le Guen, still has a future at the club.

McCoist said: 'Barry trained this morning and looked very good. He's keen to do very well and put everything behind him.

'He certainly looked the part this morning and we'll be looking forward to working with him.'

McCoist enjoyed huge popularity at Rangers and he added: 'To be honest, it's impossible for me to say no to Rangers, they call it a no-brainer.

'I just felt i was coming home.'