Rangers’ appointment of Steven Gerrard as their new manager has “put Scottish football back on the map”, says former Ibrox boss Ally McCoist.
The former Liverpool captain has agreed a four-year deal to take over in June.
Gerrard, 37, made 710 appearances and won nine trophies for Liverpool over 19 years and earned 114 England caps.
“It’s magic for Scottish football,” McCoist told BBC Radio 5 live. “A global name like Steven Gerrard will create interest throughout the world.”
Gerrard, who replaces interim manager Graeme Murty at the Scottish Premiership club, was greeted at Ibrox by a sizeable crowd and described his decision to accept Rangers’ offer as “a no-brainer”.
He said he would need to get his “feet in the door and teeth into the job” before assessing what needed to be done and confirmed that former Scotland captain and Liverpool midfielder Gary McAllister would be his assistant.
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McCoist acknowledged that Rangers’ decision to choose someone with no senior managerial experience was a “gamble” but said it was an “exciting” appointment.
“He won’t know what to expect,” former Rangers striker McCoist said. “And he will get a shock at the scrutiny, and the pressure and 24/7 hours that he’ll have to do.
“But it certainly won’t deter him, it won’t scare him and I think he’ll handle it fine. He’s lived with pressure for the vast majority of his footballing life. All that matters is that he wins games of football.”
Murty left his post on Tuesday with Rangers third in the Premiership. His assistants, Jimmy Nicholl and Jonatan Johansson, will in charge for the final three games of the season, starting at home against Kilmarnock on Saturday.
‘It’s a massive statement for Rangers’
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, who worked with Gerrard at Liverpool:
“I’m pretty sure Celtic supporters don’t think, ‘Thank God, Steven Gerrard’. They think, ‘Wow, Steven Gerrard’. That can always be a sign.
Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez, who managed Gerrard at Liverpool:
“For Stevie, if he has people around with experience who can give him some advice at crucial moments, I think it will be fine because he can be an inspiration for the players. Has he asked for my advice? Not yet. But I will send a message. I don’t think he will need any advice, but just in case, I am available.”
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, who managed Gerrard at Liverpool:
“I left him be when I saw he was linked with it. But I’m delighted for him because he’s had an incredible playing career, wanted to manage, wanted to coach and now he gets the opportunity.”
Stoke midfielder Charlie Adam, who played with Gerrard at Liverpool, speaking to BBC Radio 5 live:
“His previous career as a player and his authority that he has will help him attract good players who will want to go and play for him. It’s a massive statement for the club and Scottish football.”
Former Scotland international Steven Thompson, speaking on BBC Scotland’s Sportsound:
“There were no false promises, no big talk, none of the ‘we’re going to beat Celtic and win the league’. He was realistic. On first impressions I was very impressed. I can understand some fans would be sceptical given his inexperience. I think it’s a gamble. But just listening to the way he spoke… if he can transfer that confidence into management, I’m sure he’ll be good.”
Former England international Jermaine Jenas on BBC Radio 5 live’s Friday Night Social:
“I really like it from both sides. From Steven’s, the ability to walk into a club like that with that confidence is great. From Rangers’, to put your neck out and give an opportunity to a young manager is great.”