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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 21, 2006

Le Guen: 'Rangers not stepping stone to Premiership'

Paul Le Guen has denied he is using Rangers as a stepping stone to the Barclays Premiership.

The Frenchman, who replaced Alex McLeish as manager at Ibrox at the end of the season, will arrive in Glasgow on June 19 ahead of pre-season training.

Le Guen took a year-long sabbatical from football following a successful career at Lyon, who he led to three consecutive French titles, and his motives for joining Rangers have been questioned.

But he insists his time at Ibrox will not be used as a route to English football.

'I don't even know whether I will still be a football coach in three, four or five years' time, so that kind of fantasy talk, speculation, just makes me laugh,' he said.

'I'm not the kind of guy who sets out a career path for himself, that's just not my thing.

'People are very important to me and the people at Rangers had always been very clear and precise about what it was they were looking for and what they wanted. I liked that, that was very important for me.

'Straight away, I just felt these were serious people and that I wasn't being fed any rubbish.

'I knew where they were coming from, it was all concrete.'

Le Guen will be Rangers' first Roman Catholic manager but despite recent sectarian problems involving the fans - the club could still face punishment from UEFA for alleged discriminatory chanting in Champions League games - he is not worried.

He added: 'I'm aware of the situation, of course. But all I can really do at this stage is repeat that I preach tolerance.

'In my day-to-day existence I try to behave in a way that goes in that direction.

'I was a practising Catholic up to about 17 or 18 years old, that's the way I was brought up. So, yes, you can say I'm a Catholic. But these days I don't practise.

'I'm not someone for whom religion is a big part of life. I'm a tolerant man, and I expect others to be the same.'

Le Guen is now trying to make plans for next season. He has already recruited Chelsea youngster Dean Furman and former Austria Vienna midfielder Libor Sionko.

'I've got plenty of ideas but it's very difficult right now to make any concrete plans because the transfer merry-go-round has barely begun,' he said.

'Clubs who are selling may not be ready to admit it just yet, but decisions will need to be made, so we're having to bide our time.

'We're obviously looking, too, at players who are out of contract and available immediately. There are quite a lot of those out there.'