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Mcgregor Thanks Warburton For Honesty


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HIBS new boy Darren McGregor isn’t bitter about his shock Rangers exit. Far from it in fact.

He insists Ibrox boss Mark Warburton displayed a touch of class by levelling with him and telling him he had no future at the club.

The stopper's contract was cancelled by mutual consent on Monday and the ultimate silver lining quickly followed as McGregor signed for his boyhood heroes Hibs on a two-year deal.

McGregor admits he will be forever thankful to Warburton for his refreshing honesty when he could have easily kept him on as a bit-part squad man.

The former Cowdenbeath and St Mirren defender has quit Gers a year after joining and just three months after being named their Player of the Year. McGregor won plaudits for his wholehearted displays in 50 appearances under former bosses Ally McCoist, Kenny McDowall and Stuart McCall, scoring five goals.

However, Warburton’s arrival signalled the end of McGregor’s short spell in Govan as Danny Wilson and Rob Kiernan were preferred at centre-half.

McGregor said: “It was hard leaving Rangers. It’s a great club with really good people.

“But as one door closes, another opens and I’m at a club my whole family and I support. I’m looking forward to the season ahead. It was a difficult decision to leave Rangers and a lot of people might think I got a raw deal.

“To be fair to the gaffer I commend his honesty because he could have had me on the periphery for weeks as a back-up in case someone got injured.

“However, he was really honest and transparent and said, ‘Darren at your age you need to be playing – you can’t come chapping on my door in a few months asking why you’re not getting games. I’m telling you now.’

“He and David Weir were great and told me I should go and play. It was great at Rangers but you need to be playing. I’m lucky I have landed on my feet at another brilliant club with a fantastic stadium to boot.

“Would they have let me leave if they knew I was going to join Hibs? I’m not sure.

“The fact is the gaffer was happy to end it mutually and so was I. For me it was just about playing.

“Football is all about opinions. One manager will like you for a certain aspect of your game, another might not.

“I can only thank the Rangers manager for being straight with me because he could have kept me and I would have been a sub for months. That would have hindered me.”

The 30-year-old former St Mirren and Cowdenbeath defender breezed into Easter Road yesterday and immediately
challenged Warburton’s men to a duel for the Championship title.

He compared his Ibrox departure to saying goodbye to family but having moved to his spiritual home he won’t hesitate to ruin his old team’s glory hopes as he bids to help Hibs gain automatic promotion.

McGregor watched from the Ibrox stands as Rangers beat Hibs 1-0 on Sunday and believes there is not much to separate the sides.

He said: “It was a quick turnaround from leaving Murray Park to getting the call from Hibs saying this was a possibility.

“Hibs are the team I have supported all my days and dreamed of joining.

“I’ve had a rollercoaster career but will look back fondly on my time at Rangers. It is a massive club and one I might never had the chance to play for.

“I’m grateful to be able to walk away with a smile on my face. I wish them all the best but my priority is Hibs and getting us back up to where we belong.

“It will be funny because I’ve made a lot of good friends there. I said to a few of them last night, ‘I’ll be kicking you in two months’ time’.

“It’s like leaving family members behind because you build up a rapport with them but football is cut-throat and I need to move on to new objectives now.

“I had no inkling of what was about to happen on Sunday as I game. I was obviously watching it as a Rangers player.

“It was a close match and Rangers have some very good players. Likewise we have a talented team and there are a lot of legs in this Hibs side. I genuinely believe we can challenge Rangers for the title.

“We have a team capable of going up as champions.”

Despite interest from Premiership side St Johnstone, McGregor admitted nothing would have stopped him pulling on the jersey graced by his boyhood heroes Franck Sauzee and Russell Latapy.

He joked his worship of Mixu Paatelainen ended in tears though – when the big Finn axed him at Cowdenbeath for one wild tackle too many.

He said: “Up until I was 11 or 12 I would go to games and watch Hibs during the Sauzee and Latapy years.

“I remember them fondly – they were a great team playing at the top level. That’s what I want Hibs to get back to. Sauzee was the top man with his talent, pedigree and ability on the ball.

“He’s the man I looked up to as a youngster. Big Mixu was another idol until he got rid of me at Cowdenbeath.

“I was quite rash in my younger days and got sent off twice in three days. Mixu said to me, ‘I can’t play you Darren’. I said, ‘I agree’.

“I am lucky to have been given this chance to play for Hibs and I just want to repay their faith in me.

“There were a couple of teams interested but it was never really discussed in full.

“When I found out Hibs were interested it was the only choice.”

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Surely out of sporting integrity Alan 'elephant man' Stubbs wouldn't want to sign their biggest rivals players?... Dick

I thought McGregor was going to stick around and fight for his place, he was the only player that got pass marks for me last season much rather we got rid of Zaliukas.

good luck to the lad.

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Decent guy who like Kirk Broadfoot before him made himself a career in the game through hard work and dedication.

The simple truth is he was never going to be a regular in the team and would have struggled in the system and style that Mark Warburton has implemented.

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Decent guy who like Kirk Broadfoot before him made himself a career in the game through hard work and dedication.

The simple truth is he was never going to be a regular in the team and would have struggled in the system and style that Mark Warburton has implemented.

He'll struggle against it too...which is nice. :D

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Surely out of sporting integrity Alan 'elephant man' Stubbs wouldn't want to sign their biggest rivals players?... Dick

I thought McGregor was going to stick around and fight for his place, he was the only player that got pass marks for me last season much rather we got rid of Zaliukas.

good luck to the lad.

He would have been quite happy to stay and fight for his place, but it was obvious there was never going to be a place for him in that squad,even as a cover,especially when the gaffer calls you in and tells you to your face. It is a grind when you train every day knowing that no matter how hard you try you are not going to be on that teamsheet come match day, so it's the best for both McGregor and us to part company; he gets to play and we save wages.

As I said in another thread regarding Zaliukas; I don't think he will be going anywhere at the moment because we need a left sided defender to cover for Wallace or Wilson, so until Warburton finds a better player then Zaliukas will stay. :pipe:

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