Former Rangers manager Alex McLeish believes anybody taking the reins at Ibrox faces a tough job to meet fans’ demands and must be aware of the issues around recruitment.

Michael Beale was sacked after losing three of the opening seven cinch Premiership games after many of his nine summer signings struggled to hit the ground running.

Former Rangers player Kevin Muscat and Belgian Philippe Clement appear to be the front-runners as the club close in on a new appointment.

Back in Glasgow to promote Viaplay’s coverage of Scotland’s Euro 2024 qualifier against Spain, McLeish said: “It’s a tough job, to get Rangers up to a level that the fans expect.

Alex McLeish

“We know that you can get managers coming in and resurrecting the situation, but it’s a tough job for anybody. And if the recruitment is not right it makes it even more difficult. I even suffered it during my days at Rangers as well.

“The players that are currently there were trusted. The algorithms, the analysts have said they are the right guys for it. Now somebody has to get the best out of it.

“If Philippe or Kevin are good at that kind of management then that’s something they must be aware of, anybody taking this job at Rangers.”

McLeish managed Muscat at Ibrox and has watched him develop as a coach over the years.

Kevin Muscat, second from the right

The 50-year-old worked under Ange Postecoglou before succeeding him at Melbourne Victory and, after a spell at Sint-Truidense in Belgium, also replaced the same man at Yokahama F Marinos when his former mentor went to Celtic.

McLeish said: “I have kept in touch with Muscy over the years. He is a good lad. When he was in Belgium, some journalists kept in touch with me and said he was doing well.

“I wanted to see his progress and, with Postecoglou doing so well coming to these shores, then Australian coaches are going to be looked at very closely, and especially with Kevin’s association with Rangers.”

Like McLeish, Clement is a former Genk manager. The 49-year-old won three Belgian titles in a row from 2019, first with Genk and then twice with Club Brugge, and was most recently manager of Monaco.

Philippe Clement

“I knew of Philippe,” the former Scotland manager said. “He will definitely have the right mentality having that success behind him. He is confident enough and young enough to come and take the lead.

“Again, has he got the right recruitment or can he improve the players, take the players who are there with his style of play or managerial skills? Or do Rangers have to look for more money for other players?

“I guess he will have an idea about bringing certain players as well if Philippe is the man that’s coming.”

McLeish feels the appointment of a sporting director is also crucial, with Rangers without one since Ross Wilson departed in April.

Ross Wilson, centre

“A sporting director who knows the world of football, who knows if there are shrewd signings out there,” McLeish added.

“Back in the day we didn’t quite have the money, we got free transfers, (Jean-Alain) Boumsong from Auxerre, Dado Prso from Monaco. When you bring in gems like that, you have to be aware of all those players.

“Nowadays the computer-based analysts are doing the work for the manager.”

:: Alex McLeish was promoting Viaplay’s live and exclusive coverage of Spain v Scotland. Viaplay is available to stream from or via your TV provider on Sky, Virgin TV and Amazon Prime as an add-on subscription.