STEWART ROBERTSON insists the process to identify a new manager is always ongoing at Rangers and never simply begins when an old one departs.

In an exclusive and extensive interview with on the future direction of the club, Robertson was clear a strategy is in place at boardroom level to move everything on following Mark Warburton’s exit last week.

He also discussed the potential appointment of a Director of Football at Ibrox and intimated this is something the board are keen to oversee the implementation of.

Firstly, on the appointment of a new first-team boss, Robertson explained:  “We are continually looking at potential managers for the club.

“At a club of this size, it would be foolish to not be looking at your succession planning as you would in any other business for your key positions.

“We already have a database of potential names that we are aware of and who we have done some diligence on already.

“We’ve been inundated with lots of people already sending us applications for the position. We are sifting through those applications and then we will draw up a shortlist and look to interview.

“It is important to say that we are also looking at a Director of Football role and that will be a key appointment for the structure of the club.

“We have a very clear plan for how we are going to take this football club forward.

“It needs to be a modern football club, we are sitting here in the trophy room and we want to bring back the days where we are adding to the collection of trophies that we have here.

“From a supporters’ perspective, they can take some comfort from the fact that there is a plan in place and that there could be the odd time that you have to take a step back in order to achieve your plan, but we have very clear goals for where we want this football club to get back to.”

Robertson also explained what has been going on behind the scenes since the announcement of Friday, and he reserved praise for Graeme Murty and the way he has led the team in his short spell so far.

He added: “Mark obviously left on Friday evening and a lot has happened in the period since.

“Clearly we had the match to deal with on Sunday and I’d like to give my thanks to Graeme Murty and his team for picking up the cudgel there, taking the team and doing such a good job at the weekend under the circumstances.

“I’d also like to thank the boys for the way they have responded and supported Graeme in that task. It was a big game to win on Sunday and it gets us through to the next round of the Cup and hopefully we can get a run going there as well.

“We’re now in the process of starting to look for Mark’s replacement. There has been discussion in the press as to whether we are going to change the structure and we are looking at those changes and have been for some time.

“All this does is crystallise that really and we will move at pace with that going forward.”

Robertson also explained some of the characteristics the new manager will need to have, and revealed they will have the full support of the board in a number of areas.

He added: “I think we need a strong character, with a strong mentality. Someone who understands and gets what Rangers is all about.

“Whoever comes in is going to get the backing, there will be financial resources in terms of taking the club forward.

“But most of all we need someone who is a winner and someone who gets what this is all about and what Rangers is all about, which is winning. We are looking for the highest calibre possible, a club of this standing deserves the highest quality of manager.

“We need someone with character and someone who can work under the pressures that they will face working at Rangers.

“There is a lot of expectation at this club and a lot is demanded of you as the manager of Rangers Football Club and it needs a special kind of individual to work under those conditions.

“He’ll get great support from the board and from the supporters will get behind them. We are looking for a top guy to achieve our plan to take the club right back to the top.”

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