How long will manager Mark Warburton stay at Rangers?

Don’t bet on him being here next season, says Gary Keown

THERE seems little question that Warburton will see out the current campaign and continue with his endeavours to take Rangers back into the Ladbrokes Premiership.

Given his comments over showing commitment and offering a lead to the players, it would be surprising and disappointing to see him leave the club in the lurch and head off elsewhere.

Should interest remain in him from down south beyond the end of the season, though, there are one or two things that do make you wonder whether he might be tempted to jump ship and head back across the border where his family remains based.

Glasgow Times: Mark Warburton and David Weir watched Rangers lose 1-0 to Burnley at Ibrox

Rangers is a club that appears hamstrung by the legacy inherited from the previous regime. Every month seems to bring another legal battle and these will be using up funds that could have been much better utilised elsewhere.

Rangers need to buy new players to make a fist of it in the Premiership next season. A good few of them. You can even argue that they need to strengthen the side to be sure of beating Hibs to the Championship.

Failure to win promotion would spell the end of Warburton anyway.

Providing he does guide the club back to the top flight, he is going to need relatively substantial funds to create a side that has any chance of competing for the title because the current squad would come up well short.

Glasgow Times: Rangers manager Mark Warburton leads training at Ibrox

He spent little in the summer. Rangers’ dealings in the transfer market were underwhelming. He will surely be demanding certain assurances on the degree of finance that is going to be available for reinforcements.

Warburton is also becoming accustomed to the quite unique pressures that exist when managing Rangers. He has been unhappy at some of the criticism his side has received following poorer performances this season and has not been slow to make that known.

If he thinks it is bad now, wait until next season when he is going head-to-head with Celtic. Indeed, should Hibs win at Ibrox at the end of December and really put the cat amongst the pigeons in the race for the Championship, the temperature will intensify quite considerably.

Glasgow Times: Rangers manager Mark Warburton applauds the home fans after the final whistle

Warburton will face a level of expectation he has never experienced before. It is a level of expectation that he would not have to deal with at the likes of Fulham or Queen’s Park Rangers either.

He would have plenty of time – not to mention increased levels of cash – to really make a project work at those clubs and focus on putting together the infrastructure he wants without the never-ending pressure to win at first-team level every single week.

My gut feeling is that Warburton wants to manage Rangers in the Premiership, but, as we all know, nothing can be taken for granted in football and particularly not where events at Ibrox are concerned.

Glasgow Times: David Weir will assist Mark Warburton at Rangers after clinching his return to the club on Monday

He is here for the long haul, says Chris Jack

MARK WARBURTON has been linked with a succession of jobs in recent weeks and his stock remains high across the border. It is growing in Scotland, too.

With managers leaving their posts, especially in the Championship, on a regular basis, Rangers fans are going to have to get used to seeing their boss touted for a return to England.

He is well thought of down south following his success at Brentford and his achievements have become all the more impressive when you consider the position the Bees find themselves in at present. They are already onto their third gaffer since Warburton and David Weir left the club.

Glasgow Times: WAR CRY: Mark Warburton promises his Rangers side will deal with the physical nature of the Ladbrokes Championship this season

It was something of a coup for Rangers to land Warburton during the summer but the fact that he is only a few months into his Ibrox blue print won’t put clubs in England off making a move if they feel he is right man for them.

Warburton has made a significant impact in Scotland and it is understandable that he would be in the running for Championship positions. It is one thing a club wanting Warburton, but another Warburton wanting to join that club.

At Rangers, he has a long-term project on his hands, a chance to build things his way and an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy. Whether he can or will, only time will tell.

It would therefore be a strange move for him to want to leave when the job is far from complete and to take a risk of moving back to a league where managerial stints are often measured in months rather than years.

Glasgow Times: Rangers manager Mark Warburton celebrates as Martyn Waghorn finds the back of the net to put his side 2-1 ahead

If Rangers are successful on the park, then Warburton will continue to be linked with a move away from Ibrox. It would be a sign that he is doing a good job here.

When big wages and budgets are put on the table, the temptation is often strong to make a move but Warburton may see the situation differently.

Another crack at England could be attractive to the 53-year-old but there are few clubs he could go to that are bigger than Rangers and few that could offer the same prospects of silverware and European football.

The Scottish game may no longer be in the best of health but it is still a big call to give up the position of Rangers manager, the Old Firm encounters, cup finals, league wins and Euro nights for a place in England’s second tier.

Glasgow Times: 19/10/15  .  RANGERS TRAINING  .  MURRAY PARK - GLASGOW .  Rangers Manager Mark Warburton (centre) and assistant Davie Weir in training. (42693172)

A move to the likes of QPR or Fulham is not a step up. If a Premier League club came calling, that is a different proposition but that seems unlikely, this season at least.

Amid the speculation and the questions, Warburton’s focus has to remain on the job in hand. He has to lead Rangers to the Championship title.

One day, Warburton might have a decision to make. That is not likely to be any time soon, though. And if he isn’t successful at Rangers, it will be even longer before the phone rings.