Rangers: Mixu Paatelainen praises appointment of Jonatan Johansson

Jonatan Johansson
Jonatan Johansson recently worked as Motherwell's Under-20s coach

Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha has made a great appointment by adding Jonatan Johansson to his backroom team, says former Hibernian boss Mixu Paatelainen.

The Ibrox club confirmed on Sunday that Finn Johansson has been given the role of Caixinha's 'local' assistant.

Johansson, a Rangers player from 1997-2000, played alongside Paatelainen with Finland and for him at Hibernian.

"Jonatan will be a great addition to the Rangers coaching team," Paatelainen told BBC Scotland.

Johansson was most recently an assistant with the Finland national side, having also worked as under-20s coach at Motherwell from 2012-2015.

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ARCHIVE: Johansson scores the opener against Hibs, Nov 1999

He fought off competition from fellow former Rangers players Barry Ferguson, John Brown, Alex Rae and Kevin Thomson, with Caixinha looking to add some local knowledge to his backroom set-up.

Paatelainen, who signed Johansson for Hibs in 2009, is convinced the 41-year-old has the character and qualities to succeed.

"JJ is a smashing guy," Paatelainen added. "He was a very hard worker when he was a player.

"I haven't worked with him as a coach but I have spoken to him about coaching, and as a player he was always a good listener.

"I'd regard Jonatan as an honest, very loyal person who has experience of playing at the top level.

"JJ is a guy who will be very easy to work with and whatever Pedro Caixinha asks him to do, he will do it. He will be a pleasure to work with.

"It's a great move for JJ to improve and get experience of coaching at such a great club."

Johansson joined Rangers as a 21-year-old and flourished under Dick Advocaat, scoring 21 times in his 71 appearances.

And Paatelainen insists his countryman will relish a return to Ibrox.

"Jonatan is a Rangers man through and through so he will really enjoy working for a club that is so close to his heart," he added.

Mixu Paatelainen during his time as Hibs manager
Mixu Paatelainen signed Jonatan Johansson while he was manager of Hibernian

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