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Warburton - No Hiding Place


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Didn't see this posted elsewhere, sorry if it's a double post. The more I hear, the more I like the new gaffer.

From DR.

MARK WARBURTON has four days left to beef up his squad ahead of his first pre-season session as Rangers manager.

Then the process of weeding out those who should never have been there in the first place can begin.

Warburton admitted as much yesterday as he returned to Ibrox after four days in the Czech Republic at the European Under-21 Championship and walked straight into a schedule somewhere between the hectic and the chaotic.

He only arrived back in England at 8pm on Sunday. He was on the red eye shuttle up to Glasgow before most people were having breakfast yesterday morning.

On one line he was discussing contract terms with former Hearts skipper Danny Wilson. On the other he was ensuring Wigan defender Rob Kiernan was travelling north in time to go through a medical.

Then theres John Eustace the new managers potential cornerstone signing who is due in town this morning.

Discussions continue all the while with right-hand man Davie Weir as the pair attempt to plan their daily routines for Murray Park in advance of the first day of training while picking their way through lists of potential signing targets and filtering the calls of agents and advisers.

But Warburton did find time yesterday morning to welcome the clubs oldest season-ticket holder to Ibrox. John Connelly celebrates his 100th birthday later this week. By then, at this rate, the 52-year-old Warburton might not feel too far behind.

But if time is running out for anyone it will be for those players who have overstayed their welcome at Ibrox. Because if one thing became clear yesterday it was Warburtons determination to get down to more serious business.

He said: If players dont want to be here, I would rather they go. I dont care if its the top scorer or best goalkeeper, if they dont want to be part of Rangers then they can go because that is a negative and a sapper to me.

I will know pretty quickly. When we train we will train hard, in terms of intensity. It doesnt mean long hours, it means quality of work. There is no hiding place for any staff members or players, myself and David included.

If were not doing our job we get found out quickly. I want everyone to want to come to work, to want to work hard and then hopefully we will see the progress.

If Murray Park has been regarded as something of a holiday camp over the last four years and it has by many then some of the regulars there are in for a surprise when they clock back in on Saturday.

Warburton added: Im never going to be critical of any previous ideas. But I have my own ideas.

The first thing is getting the environment right at the training ground because that is where they go to work every day. If they want to go to work then you must make it a place of work.

Ive been to some training grounds around the world that are outstanding but are like a leisure spa. Theyre so good you almost forget you are going there to work.

I want the balance to be right. Its not just a question of spending more time there. You forget my old background, I worked for a Japanese bank where you would sit there for 20 hours a day for no reason at all so Im never, ever going to have players stuck at the training ground for no reason. Its got to be for a purpose.

Theres nothing better than coming in, doing some work, feeling youve made some progress then going home and seeing your family, have a meal and rest in your own bed.

They will never be at this training ground unless its for a good reason.

Its our job is to get the right players here, to add quality quickly. They have to buy into how we want to play the game and what we want to do. The players who do that, we look forward to working with.

The players who dont? Well, well wish them all the best.

Warburton has compiled a long list of alternatives. The hard part will be in persuading those players he has targeted to leave the cash-rich English leagues behind to start out again in the second tier of Scottish football.

He was asked if, in the current climate, it might be easier to persuade them to sign for his former club Brentford than to join him at Ibrox.

Warburton smiled and soft-shoe shuffled as he said: No, I dont mean that. That would be a shocking

headline if I said that. But the foreign players like Brentford because Heathrow is 15 minutes away and the centre of London 30 minutes away.

We had five airports in the same city so we could attract players for that reason.

Theres more money down south. You look at the teams that are still on parachute payments and its a frightening scenario.

But if you get a player to come up here, you meet him at the airport and show him Ibrox and Murray Park, weve got a magnificent selling point. The greeting as you walk in the front door is vitally important. If we get that right we will get some good players.

I came to Ibrox for the first time last week. Im a football fan and I dont want to sound corny but I thought of Highbury straight away. I was a Spurs fan as a kid but these look like the marble halls of Highbury. I was amazed at the similarity and wow factor.

I was gobsmacked when I walked around the stadium. Then I went to Murray Park and I had the impression in my mind wrongly that it was 15 years old and maybe needed a lick of paint.

"But its a world-class facility. Its magnificent and when players see all that they will know this is a great place to work.

Yes, the money is good in England but I want players who want to be here. That may mean theyre slightly worse off financially but they have the honour of playing for Rangers in front of 45,000 fans and training at Murray Park every day.

They will also be able to play their part in taking the club where we want it to go. Thats not a bad swap.

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