Fleck hopes Smith stays at Ibrox

15 November 2010 05:30

John Fleck is hoping Rangers manager Walter Smith stays at Ibrox in some capacity when he steps down from the hotseat at the end of the season.

At the weekend, Smith, 62, reiterated his intention to leave the Govan club next summer but caused some intrigue by saying: "I still hope I'll be able to do one or two things - maybe not as a manager, but I hope to be involved with something."

Fleck, preparing for Scotland Under-21s' friendly against their Northern Ireland counterparts at Firhill on Wednesday night, believes the former Everton boss need not leave Ibrox and said: "It doesn't really surprise me that he has said he wants to stay involved in the game. I don't know what he is going to do or what his feelings are but I'm sure everyone at Rangers will be hoping he stays around the club somewhere.

The 19-year-old midfielder added: "Everyone would like to see him stay as a manager but I'm sure he will be about the club. He's a great manager and a great guy and he has played a big part in my development.

"He will take you aside and speak to you, as will Ally McCoist, Ian Durrant and Kenny McDowall. If he needs to shout at you he will but he is a lot calmer than he used to be. Who knows what he is going to do but hopefully he will still be about the club."

Fleck made his first start of the campaign in the 2-0 win over Aberdeen at Ibrox on Saturday following his recovery from a hamstring injury which wrecked the start of his season.

He joins a list of young Ibrox players who, due to injuries and lack of numbers in Smith's squad, are bound to feature regularly in the coming months.

The former Rangers youth team player, who made his first team debut almost three years ago, insists his young team-mates merit a chance.

"Getting injured was disappointing from my point of view but there are a lot of young boys who deserve a chance and I'm sure they will get it. It's great to get a chance with the Rangers first team and I've obviously done it a few times.

"Guys like Ross Perry, Gregg Wylde and Kyle Hutton will hopefully get a few games under their belts as well. They are good enough otherwise they would not be involved in the Rangers first team, no what matter what the situation is and I'm sure they will do well when they get games."

Source: PA