Mark Allen, the Rangers director of football, has revealed that the Ibrox club will take its time to appoint a new manager after Pedro Caixinha was sacked.
Derek McInnes, Alex McLeish and former Club Brugge manager Michel Preud’homme have been linked with the post, but Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill last night distanced himself from the vacancy.
Allen, who was appointed in June after seven years as academy director at Manchester City, will play a key role in appointing Caixinha’s successor. The next manager must be willing to work with a new scouting network after Allen announced key changes to the player recruitment process at Rangers.
Andy Scoulding, formerly the video technician for the England national team, has been appointed head of scouting, while former Rangers defender John Brown and erstwhile Aston Villa scout Dave Swanick have also joined the department. Billy McLaren has stepped up from his youth academy role.
The scouting shake-up was confirmed last night, after which Allen addressed the expected timescale for the appointment of a new manager. Caixinha’s seven-month tenure will go down as a costly mistake — the Portuguese brought in 11 new players during the summer transfer window — and the club cannot afford to make any further errors of judgment. Allen, below, acknowledged that Rangers must be diligent in their pursuit of a new coach.
“It’s something which has come up very quickly but the one thing I would say is we need to do our due diligence and we need to be sure this process is given the right time to find the right person,” he said.
Allen is confident in the level of experience and expertise he has brought to the recruitment process at Rangers, with the appointment of Scoulding a particular boon. “He has worked at Fulham and Liverpool and he worked with England, where he was responsible for putting together their scouting network which looked at potential England players,” said Allen. “More recently, he has worked in Spain with Valencia.
“John [Brown] will head up the domestic side of things and look at Scotland and the rest of the UK. I know Dave from his previous role at Aston Villa. He will drive the European element of this and we have got to be prepared in terms of looking far and wide for the right players.
“Billy has worked in the academy arena for many years and the academy transition is very important. Identifying young, up-and-coming players is very important in terms of the overall philosophy of the club. Billy has the domestic knowledge and he has the link with the academy.”