LEE HODSON admits that one of the reasons he has joined Rangers is to work with Mark Warburton again, a man he has huge admiration for.

The Light Blues boss has played a big part in the full-back’s career having first spotted his potential at the age of 13.

Back then Warburton moved quickly to sign the player for Watford’s academy and when he became Brentford’s sporting director he also took the Northern Ireland defender to Griffin Park in November 2012.

At that time he said: “I have known and worked with Lee for a number of years and it has been a pleasure watching him develop into a highly talented full back.”

After signing a three-year deal with Rangers this afternoon it is clear there is mutual admiration.

Speaking to Rangers TV, Hodson said: “I’ve known Mark for a very long time.

“He signed me at 13 as an academy lad and he watched me go through the ranks and play for Watford’s first team.

“Mark went to Brentford and I went on loan for a season there and I can only sing his praises.

He has done so much for my development as a kid, giving me that opportunity to progress through the Watford ranks and then taking me to Brentford to have a loan spell there.

“He’s had a massive influence on my career as a youngster and I’m grateful and excited to be here working with him again.”

Hodson will not be joining the Rangers squad in the United States as he takes a break after being part of Northern Ireland’s squad at Euro 2016.

He is, however, excited to meet his new team-mates and to be re-uniting with a couple of players he knows very well.

He said: “Rob [Kiernan], Harry [Forrester] and I go back a long way.

“They were a year older than me in the youth team days [at Watford] but I was lucky enough that they mixed the under-15s and under-16s together so I got to be with them from 13 to 17 or 18. But as you do in football, people go their separate ways.

“We all ended meeting back up at Brentford, we had a good season there and we were just unfortunate not to get promoted in the play-offs.

“But they are two great lads. When I was up here last season on loan at Kilmarnock they made me feel as welcome as they could, even although I wasn’t at Rangers.

“So I’ve been keeping an eye out on Rangers since I’ve moved up here for them and obviously knowing Mark.

“I’ve been following them a lot lately and they’ve been doing very well.”

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