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Football: IT'S BACK TO THE FUTURE FOR GERS; Le Guen calls time on French revolution at Ibrox Smith & McCoist set for Ibrox return.

Byline: By IAIN CAMPBELL

WALTER SMITH is ready to come to Rangers' rescue after yesterday's sudden, sensational departure of Paul Le Guen.

The Scotland manager is Sir David Murray's choice to take over from the Frenchman who decided to cut his losses and leave yesterday.

Mirror Sport understands that Smith - who led the club to nine league titles in a row - has been approached to take over from Le Guen (pictured) until the end of the season. The frenchman opted opted to leave the club in the wake of the crisis brought about by Barry Ferguson being stripped of the captaincy.

Rangers sources insist that Smith will bring in Scotland coach Ally McCoist as part of a "dream team" which will delight the fans who turned against Le Guen after he dropped Ferguson for Tuesday's match at Motherwell.

The pair will remain in charge of the national team. Coach Ian Durrant will pick the Gers side for Sunday's Scottish Cup tie at Dunfermline - a match which may see Ferguson recalled to the side.

The axed skipper believed he was on his way out until Le Guen quit by "mutual agreement" after a meeting with Murray.

Last night Rangers fans chief Jim Templeton welcomed the news that Smith and McCoist are red hot favourites to take over.

He said: "It is essential we don't go for another foreigner but go for a Scottish or British manager - preferably a Rangers man.

"I would be surprised if Walter was appointed on his own and perhaps the best solution would be to appoint him as director of football with a younger man running the team.

"My preference is for Billy Davies, but I am not adverse to Smith and McCoist - especially with Ian Durrant on the staff.

It would be like old times!"

CAPTION(S):

GLORY DAYS: McCoist (left) and Smith (right)' COACH: Durrant
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 5, 2007
Words:310
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