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manager profile

Alex McLeish

Club: Glasgow Rangers
Appointed: 13/ 12/ 2001
Date of Birth: 21/ 01/ 1959
Previous Clubs: Hibernian
  Motherwell
Honours:
Glasgow Rangers
2002-03 Scottish Premier League Champions
Scottish Cup Winners
Scottish League Cup winners
2001-02 Scottish Cup Winners
Scottish League Cup winners
Hibernian
1998-99 Scottish First Division Champions
Alex McLeishAlex McLeish Birmingham City 2007/08 profile size

Glasgow-born Alex McLeish enjoyed a brilliant playing career at Aberdeen from 1978 to 1993, under the watchful eye of his mentor Sir Alex Ferguson for much of that time. The central defender won Scottish championships, lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup and played in three World Cups with Scotland - collecting 77 caps along the way.

He began his managerial career at Motherwell in 1994, taking over from Tommy McLean and in his first season led the team to a second place finish in the Premier League. But success didn't come easily at Fir Park and they flirted with relegation over the next two seasons before McLeish opted to take charge of Edinburgh-based Hibernian in February 1998.

Hibs were relegated a few months later, but McLeish's first full season in charge at Easter Road saw them automatically promoted back into the Premier League after winning the Division One title. Alex worked hard at rebuilding the side and they looked like serious challengers for the Scottish Premier League title - finishing third after the Old Firm duo, just one season after promotion.

However, things started to slip and again McLeish struggled to maintain the early success he had achieved with Hibs. As one of Scotland's highly-rated talented young managers, he was personally recommended by Dick Advocaat to be the Dutchman's successor at Rangers, and, in December 2001 he moved to Ibrox.

Rangers had fallen behind their city rivals Celtic following the arrival of Martin O'Neill at Parkhead, and morale had dipped towards the end of Advocaat's reign. McLeish faced a tough task but it was one he embraced. It wasn't long before reports emanating from Ibrox revealed that things were looking up in the dressing room and that it was all down to McLeish.

Advocaat moved upstairs to a Director of Football role and many thought there would be problems with the two men working side by side. The fears were unfounded and the partnership turned out well with Rangers winning the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup in his first season at the helm. His second season saw him bring home the Treble - with Gers winning the League title on the last day of the season with only a slightly better goal difference than Celtic.

Nicknamed Big 'eck, McLeish wasted no time in bringing through some of the home-grown youth players and giving chances where chances were due - Maurice Ross, Bob Malcolm, Peter Lovenkrands and Stephen Hughes to name but a few of the youngsters who have blossomed.

The 2004/05 capaign was one of the tightest and most keenly fought for both Rangers and Celtic with the Ibrox club snatching victory from the jaws of defeat on the very last day. They won the title by just one point.

In this victory McLeish showed grit and determination. It looked in the latter stage of the season that the league trophy's place at Celtic was a forgone conclusion as the Bhoys steamed their way to what looked to be certain glory. However, in the final dramatic game of the campaign Celtic threw away a slender 1-0 lead in the final minutes against Motherwell to lose 2-1 as Rangers claimed a victorious 1-0 win against Hibs.

Things took a turn for the worse in 2005/06 though, and when the fans turned on McLeish, it was announced that he would leave the club at the end of the season. In January 2007 he took charge of the Scottish national team after Walter Smith returned to Rangers, and lead them to a famous 1-0 away win over France before a defeat to Italy ended their hopes of Euro 2008 qualification.

He left the Scotland job in November 2007 to return to club management with Birmingham City.

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TABLE

TeamsPld Pts
Rangers27 68
Celtic27 64
Motherwell27 46
Dundee Utd28 42
Hibs28 41
Falkirk29 37
Hearts29 36
Aberdeen29 34
Inverness29 33
Kilmarnock29 28
St Mirren27 27
Gretna27 16