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Craig Brown believes McCall is next best thing to Walter Smith for Rangers

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown believes Rangers have got the next best thing to Walter Smith in Stuart McCall.

Ex-Scotland manager Craig Brown has told The Herald that Rangers' imminent appointment of Stuart McCall could be 'inspired'.

Brown, who started his career at Rangers back in 1958, spent eight years in charge of the Scottish national team, taking them to the 1998 World Cup - which remains their last World Cup appearance.

Now 74, Brown - who also managed Preston North End and Motherwell - retired from management in 2013, leaving Aberdeen after two-and-a-half years in the hot seat.

Now able to talk about football from the outside looking in, Brown has cast his eye to the imminent appointment of Stuart McCall at Rangers.

Reports broke on Wednesday that McCall was set to return to Ibrox as the club's new manager, 17 years after leaving the club as a player with over 250 Rangers appearances to his name.

The former Motherwell boss will be called upon to take Rangers back to the Scottish Premiership, with poor form under caretaker Kenny McDowall costing Rangers dear.

Brown, who was succeeded by McCall at Motherwell, has told The Herald that McCall is not only the next best thing to Walter Smith for Rangers, but the appointment could be an inspired one.

"I said some time ago that I felt Rangers should beg for Walter to return," said Brown. "If the board cannot get Walter, and I wouldn't imagine he would have wanted to go back, they have got the next best thing.

"Stuart has a history with Rangers, he has done well here as a manager and he has the personality required to get the place lifted. It could turn out to be an inspired appointment and I hope that is the way it works out. There is such great credibility there with Stuart. You are talking about a guy with authority, presence and knowledge walking through that dressing room door should he choose to accept the job," 

"Look at what he has done in his career. Senior players such as Kenny Miller and Kris Boyd will respect him because of his managerial prowess and the fact he was such a successful player. You are in the position of power as the manager and you can really only lose that by being incompetent, dishonest with the players or lazy. Stuart is certainly none of those things," he added.

Smith won seven consecutive Scottish Premiership titles during the 1990's, and after spells in charge of Everton and Scotland, returned to claim three more.

If McCall can even manage half of that record, then his appointment will indeed be classed as an inspired one - but whether he's the next best thing to Smith remains to be seen.

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