Walter Smith has returned to Rangers FC as manager, replacing Paul Le Guen who departed last week.
The 58-year-old, who will be assisted by Rangers' record goalscorer Ally McCoist, has stepped down as manager of the Scotland national side to return to Ibrox, where he enjoyed a gloriously successful spell between 1991 and 1998 having spent the previous five years as assistant manager to Graeme Souness. In Smith's first tenure Rangers won seven successive league titles and lifted both the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup three times. Smith and McCoist are believed to have agreed contracts until 2010 with Kenny McDowall, who stepped down as coach of Celtic FC's reserve side on Tuesday, taking over as first-team coach.
'In my blood'
"I'm delighted to return to Rangers as manager, this club has always been in my blood and I can't wait to get started," Smith told the club website. "I am looking forward to teaming up with Ally and Kenny. I worked side by side with Ally during our time with the national team and I am also delighted Kenny has agreed to join us at Ibrox."
Smith left Rangers to take charge of Premiership side Everton FC in 1998, where he was replaced by David Moyes in early 2002. He subsequently took over from Berti Vogts as Scotland manager in December 2004 and enjoyed considerable success in his two years in charge of the national side, guiding them to the top of UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying Group B with some fine results, including a memorable 1-0 victory against France at Hampden Park last October.
Le Guen departure
Le Guen left Rangers on Thursday after less than seven months in charge, the shortest managerial reign in the club's history. The Glasgow club are currently second in the Scottish Premier League but trail Old Firm rivals Celtic by 17 points and were knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Dunfermline Athletic FC on Sunday. However, they have enjoyed some success in the UEFA Cup this season, winning Group A to set up a Round of 32 tie against Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC next month.
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