Rangers: Southampton's Ross Wilson says Ibrox opportunity came at wrong time

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Southampton's Ross Wilson says Rangers opportunity came at wrong time

Rangers director of football Mark Allen has a huge and exciting task on his hands, according to the man who turned the job down.

Ross Wilson held talks with the Ibrox club, but opted to stay in his current role as director of football operations at Southampton.

Wilson says job satisfaction played a major part in his decision.

"There was a lot of media conjecture at the time. There was contact, there were some discussions," Wilson said.

"They were fantastic. Great conversations with Andrew Dickson, Stuart Robertson, Graeme Park, Dave King. The conversations were really, really good.

"Everything they said was hugely ambitious, great plans for what they're trying to do with the club, but ultimately it just wasn't the right time for me to leave England and come back to Scotland. It was just something that worked for me at that moment in time."

With Wilson opting to remain at Southampton, Rangers' recruitment search led to the appointment of Allen, who left his role as Manchester City's academy director.

He has since built a scouting structure at the club, and led the search for Pedro Caixinha's successor.

'There was no reason for me to leave'

"It would have been exciting," Wilson said. "The size of the club itself makes that task exciting. Mark Allen is there now and he's got a huge task on his hands, but rather than look at it as a huge task, it's an exciting task.

"I decided to stay where I was because I've got such a great job where I am. Ultimately, there was no reason for me at that moment in time to leave Southampton and take the job.

"I've got tremendous support from my colleagues that sit on the board, great relationships with the people that work with me.

"It wasn't even a Premier League thing. It was more at that moment in time to leave Southampton just didn't quite feel right for me, at that point."

Wilson graduated from Strathclyde University with a Social Sciences Degree before getting involved in football with Falkirk. There then followed spells at Watford, Huddersfield and Southampton in a meteoric rise.

Rangers director of football Mark Allen
Rangers director of football Mark Allen has rebuilt the scouting set up and led the search for a new manager

At St Mary's, he has worked alongside Ronald Koeman, Claude Puel and now Mauricio Pellegrino, while overseeing the recruitment strategy that has contributed to Southampton's consistent place in the top 10.

He was speaking at the Scottish FA's convention, where he delivered a presentation to representatives of most Scottish clubs on his role at Southampton and the culture that has been established within the club,

"It's a hugely rewarding job, hugely exciting and incredibly busy," Wilson said.

"The key to our success is we have a strategy that we've stuck to consistently - a way that we know is successful for us.

"We've got a set of values that drive how the club operates and we truly live by those values.

"It's a club where everyone is pulling in the same direction. Everyone wants the thing to be successful. Equally, everyone understands how we're going to be successful and how we're going to work. We've stuck to that and never wavered."

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