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Warburton Interview


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Mark Warburton: I finally got my Sporting chance after months of doors being slammed in my face


THE new Rangers boss left his job as a City trader and struggled to get clubs to let him learn his new trade until Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon gave him the chance.


JS66100156.jpgDaily Record

Mark Warburton with his assistant David Weir at Ibrox

MARK Warburton is the former City trader who went for broke in football and took the ultimate gamble on himself.

Now the Wolf of Wall Street is ready to become the Rottweiler of Rangers .

Warburton quit his lavish lifestyle to become a coach back in 2004, giving 
himself a decade to reach the top.

The Englishman used to cold call 
businesses all over the world trying to 
land big financial deals.

But he turned his back on the City life after he landed a massive contract and celebrated by scribbling passing drills on post-it notes.

In that moment Warburton knew he would have to sink his own fortune into making a living from his real passion.

Yet even more doors were slammed 
in his face in the football world until 
Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon 
finally offered him the chance to study their methods.

That set him off on a long journey that would eventually culminate in him being named the new Rangers manager.

After checking out Sportings methods, the 52-year-old also visited Ajax, Valencia, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund, Inter Milan and Anderlecht.

Now Warburton is 
determined to make 
Rangers the envy of top clubs , forcing budding European coaches to visit Murray Park and learn the Light Blues way.

He said: Football was always a passion.

I was a young 
professional and played Conference football.

However, the city days back then were a really competitive environment. Everyday I went in and loved it.

I picked the phone up at 6am then hung it back up at around 7pm.

You were fighting with everybody 
else around the world for deals and it sounds corny but it was that competitive 
environment that made me want to become a football coach.

If you did well in the City you made money, the same as scoring a goal and winning games.

If you didnt do well then you went home with the tail between your legs, determined to do better then next day.

I really enjoyed that environment but all the time I wanted to get back to football because I loved the game and the City life ties you down.

If you do well the City life looks after you financially but I got to an age where I had to commit to football coaching or I would never have done it.

In the City, we used to call it 
cold-calling. Thats when you called up customers and tried to get business.

That stood me in good stead because I called a number of football clubs when I quit the job in the City and got the door slammed in my face.

Finally Sporting Lisbon invited me over for a couple of days. There was a guy at Sporting called Diogo Matos who I still speak with regularly.

Diogo was an ex-player and director at Sporting but he left a little while ago.

He was at the club for 15 years but was an outstanding font of knowledge, a great personality and always eager to learn.

I learnt a lot from him and they had some really good staff at that club as well. After all, this is the club that produced Luis Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo and these type of players.

I spent three months in Lisbon and from there I travelled on to Ajax, Valencia, 
Barcelona, Dortmund, Inter Milan and Anderlecht. I learnt so much from those visits.

Its not just the 
first-team you learn from, its the Under-Nine coach or the Under-14 coach or it can even be the football administrators.


Barcelona have an 
outstanding lady doing their administration, 
first-class in everything she does. Rangers can learn from that, send your staff over, spend two days there and see what she does.

Its about educating 
the staff and improving all the time. We have to aim 
to do that here.

I want people coming to 
Rangers to see what we do and hopefully learn from that.

The task of transforming Rangers is a big one after last seasons ill-fated 
Championship campaign but it wont faze Warburton after he worked 13-hour days to earn his corn in the City.

The Englishman and his assistant David Weir will be hands-on coaches at Murray Park, offering Gers total commitment in their bid to reach the Premiership.

The duo enjoyed great success at 
Brentford last season, leading the 
unfancied side to the play-off semi-finals before succumbing to Middlesbrough, and Warburton insists that was down to 
having a happy and dedicated squad.

He wants to foster the same kind of spirit at Ibrox and claims the foundations for any success next season will be laid at Murray Park.

Warburton said: We built last season at Brentford around two key pillars work ethic and unity.

Thats what it has to be. We play at Ibrox every 10 days or two weeks but the training ground is where they go to work and we need to develop our young players there.

Footballers are athletes so we need to make sure the food is right, pitches are right, kit, video analysis, medical care, logistics, all that stuff.

We must give them the best chance. We cant give them any excuses. We will challenge the players to maximise the opportunity given to them.

Im hands on every day absolutely.

There is no point in me moaning and bitching about things that arent right.

Warburton is a newcomer to the Scottish game but has the ideal man beside him in the shape of Ibrox legend Weir.

He said: David and I work well together. I delegate some things if people tell you they can do everything then I think they are lying.

It can dilute the quality of what you are trying to do.

If you get good staff in then you have to trust them and give them responsibility but they also have accountability.

If they screw up then they pay the price, the same way a player would do.

It is not a radical approach at all and I dont understand why people say things like that. Coaching is all about working with players.

Whatever job you are in, if you are a builder or a taxi driver, then you have to enjoy what you do.

If you are a taxi driver and you have a better car to drive around in then you will be happy.

Our job is to work with the players. They want to work with the ball and they want a better understanding of what it is they do on the pitch.

Players want organisation and 
structure they are normal workers.

People put footballers and athletes on a pedestal but they are just normal guys going to work.

Our job is to give them that structure and the opportunity to be the best they can be and compete.

If we can do that then we will be okay. I said to the players at Brentford that there will be days you cant pass water but if you give 100 per cent then the supporters will appreciate and respect that.

It is important. Any team that 
David and I are in charge of will always give 100 per cent.

He talks a good game you have to admit. I've just got this good feeling and it's been a while since I had that feeling. The bit in bold aswell, music to my ears.

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We have no idea how successful, or not, the MW tenure will be but he takes the right approach to how it should be done at a professional club.

Preparation is key when approaching a season and he certainly says all the right things anyway, I just hope that the players buy into this new approach.

Now the past 3 yrs it's been not been right but folk get used to things being a certain way, even become comfortable with it and become resistant to change, just look at the changes LeGuen tried to make & player power won out.

The club, as a whole, have to move forward as one .. not just the players but the youth set up, behind the scenes all the way down to kit men etc .. AND the fans, we have a major contribution to make in this upcoming season.

I'm not talking about financial, although that is vital too, I am talking about patience & understanding with the new approach, the new style of play & the new players.

We are going to have a lot of stumbles as we get up off our knees and stride forward, there will be poor passes, there will be bad games, there will be losses .. even at home but our continued backing is just as important to the club & players as much as anything that will have gone before.

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Cheers GOAT, I enjoyed that article, he really seems a determined character and he grows on you the more you listen to him.

I hope he is the answer to sorting out our on field woes, and sets up a team of winners that will wash away all the bad years of mediocrity we have been exposed to.


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