Rangers: Alex McLeish had reservations about possible Ibrox return

Alex McLeish with the Scottish Cup
Alex McLeish was looking forward to this weekend's Scottish Cup semi-finals

Alex McLeish says he never came close to beating Pedro Caixinha to the Rangers job and that he had reservations about a return to Ibrox.

The ex-Scotland boss, who was manager at Ibrox from 2001 to 2006, was invited by the board to discuss the position vacated by Mark Warburton in February.

Asked how near he came to a return to the Glasgow club, he said: "I wasn't close. I had doubts about it.

"But I believe Pedro Caixinha was probably uppermost in their minds."

McLeish had been out of management for a year after being sacked from his last managerial job, with Zamalek in the Egyptian Premier League.

When the Rangers vacancy emerged, the 58-year-old had said that the job would be difficult to turn down.

"I did speak to them and I said that, if they were to come back and offer me it, I would like to speak further," he revealed at a media event to promote this weekend's William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals.

"It was a very casual chat. It wasn't what I would call an interview - it was meeting old friends again and seeing where they were going with the club.

Pedro Caixinha talks to his Rangers players
Pedro Caixinha will lead his Rangers side into a Scottish Cup semi-final against Celtic

"They say don't go back and that was in my mind, but they asked to speak to me and it was worth listening to what they had to say.

"I was never 100%, 'yes, I am going back to Rangers'."

Among the silverware gathered during McLeish's time at Ibrox, they won the domestic treble in 2003.

"I wouldn't have just walked straight back in without some further talks," added the former Motherwell, Hibernian, Birmingham City, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest and Genk manager.

"It was totally different to when I first went. It just wasn't for me at this time of my career.

"I felt that there is a lot that goes with it as well in terms of the other side of the actual football and training.

"There is a lot of politics and I don't know if I needed that at this stage of my life."

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