Rangers: Kenny McDowall surprised his exit went public

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Interview: Rangers caretaker manager Kenny McDowall

Rangers caretaker manager Kenny McDowall admits he was surprised that news of his resignation broke before he had the chance to tell his players.

McDowall is working his 12-month notice period after handing in his resignation last week.

But when asked what he thought when the news was revealed on 19 January, McDowall said: "Yes, I was just surprised.

"It came out on TV, so they [players] saw it before I could get to them."

McDowall, who had been assistant to manager Ally McCoist before he was put on gardening leave after handing in his resignation, says he expects to see out his notice period.

"It came out and that's it, it's out," he added. "I can't do anything about that.

"I'm comfortable doing my job, it's whether other people are comfortable with me doing it. It's not for me to decide."

The 51-year-old joined Rangers as part of Walter Smith's backroom team in 2007, following 10 years as a coach at Celtic.

And he is looking forward to a break from the game following the turbulent times at Ibrox in recent years.

Rangers defender Darren McGregor
Rangers defender Darren McGregor says the squad must forget off-field issues and focus on playing

"This a massive job and it's an absolute honour to be sitting here as caretaker, that's what made it such a difficult decision to put my notice in, but I just felt it was right for me and my family," McDowall added.

"The last four years have been tough and it'll be time to step aside. I'm nearly 18 years at the Old Firm, it's quite a long time and it does take its toll on you.

"Walter Smith brought me here eight years ago as first team coach and all of a sudden I'm caretaker manager and I'm looking around wondering where everybody has gone.

"I've had the chance to lead a fantastic club, the club I supported as a boy. To be the manager here was fantastic and the experience I've had over the whole piece, there was a lot in there.

McDowall was reluctant to comment on the news that goalkeeper Steve Simonsen has been charged by the Scottish FA for allegedly breaching gambling rules.

But he did say: "It was a surprise to me. I think there's been enough notice for people to take heed that you're not allowed to gamble, it's as plain as that.

"I will need to wait and see what the hearing comes up with, but he's not guilty as of yet."

And McDowall revealed Simonsen will be available for Saturday's trip to Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Championship.

Ibrox defender Darren McGregor said that news of McDowall's resignation was a surprise to the Rangers players.

"There was a bit of shock but it is what it is, he's tendered his resignation and we need to get on with it, we need to focus on playing every Saturday," the former St Mirren and Cowdenbeath centre-back said.

"I was shocked [when he saw the news on TV] but you just need to get on with it."

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