Steven Davis declared himself “very honoured” after getting a call “out of the blue” to take charge of Rangers on an interim basis following the sacking of Michael Beale.
The 38-year-old Northern Irishman, who had two fruitful spells as a player at Ibrox, was invited by the Gers board on Sunday evening to take the reins until they appoint a new permanent boss.
Davis will be assisted by fellow former Rangers players Alex Rae and Steven Smith, as well as coach Brian Gilmour and goalkeeping coach Colin Stewart.
“I’m very honoured,” he told Rangers TV on Monday. “The call came out of the blue a little bit. I wasn’t expecting it but I’d just like to try and repay the trust the club have shown by putting me in this position.
“Obviously it’s not a position we would like to be in, we’re disappointed with where we’re at at this moment in time but I’m really looking forward to the challenge.
“I’m delighted to get the opportunity. I believe in the group we’ve got. Things haven’t gone the way we would have liked and we find ourselves in this situation but I’m sure with ourselves and the fans pushing in the same direction we can go on and get some good results.”
Beale paid the price for a dismal start to the season, with Rangers third in the cinch Premiership – behind St Mirren – and seven points adrift of city rivals Celtic after three defeats in seven league matches.
In addition, they suffered a 7-3 aggregate defeat by PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League play-off round in August, with a raft of summer signings having failed to shine so far.
Davis and the rest of the interim coaching staff must rouse the team following Saturday’s humiliating 3-1 defeat at home to Aberdeen as they prepare to head to Cyprus to face Aris Limassol in the Europa League on Thursday.
Rangers’ next league match is away to second-placed St Mirren on Sunday before the international break brings a fortnight in which they can try to regroup and bed in a new manager.
“Ultimately we have to get results first and foremost at a club like Rangers,” said Davis. “I just want to try and get some pride back in terms of the way we play and try and get the boys’ confidence back as well.
“We’ve got a really good group here. I see the level of application here, I’ve been in and around it long enough with the majority of them, so I just want to get that belief back in the team and give them a platform to go and show their best performances.”
Davis is unlikely to be considered for the role on a permanent basis, with Kevin Muscat, Chris Wilder and Frank Lampard among those having been linked with the vacancy in the aftermath of Beale’s exit.
However, the Northern Irishman intends to use his spell in charge as a learning curve.
“Management was something I’ve considered for further down the line,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting this opportunity, it hadn’t crossed my mind, but it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.
“It’s going to be a great experience for me and I’m really looking forward to the challenge. Everybody knows what the club means to me. My approach is just going to be the same as I was as a player, and that’s just to give it my best. Hopefully that will be good enough.”
Beale wished Rangers well for the future as he issued a social media post within hours of his sacking backing the Ibrox club to get back on track.
The 43-year-old took to Instagram in the early hours of Monday morning to wish Davis all the best.
“Thank you @RangersFC to everyone behind the scenes at the training ground and Ibrox, to the board, staff, fans and all the players,” he wrote. “I will always follow and support the club from afar and wish you every success.
“Now is the time for everyone to unite fully behind Steven Davis and the team in the coming games.
“There is still so much to play for this season and I have a strong belief in this group of players. Thank you and good luck.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub