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Nov 10, 2006

Rangers chairman and captain backing Le Guen

Rangers chairman David Murray and captain Barry Ferguson have come out in support of struggling manager Paul Le Guen, after over 300 supporters called for his head outside Ibrox on Wednesday night.

The club's nightmare season continued mid-week, following the Gers 2-0 home capitulation to First Division St Johnstone in the CIS Cup.

With Rangers already trailing league leaders Celtic by 15 points, the French manager, who joined Rangers this summer, has become the object of the fans indignation as their season continues its downward spiral.

Murray said: 'At the start of the season, 18 out of 24 journalists tipped Rangers to win the league and it was widely acknowledged that Paul was a great appointment. And I have no reason to change my mind about that.

'There have been voices of discontent but it only makes Paul and I more determined.

'Anyone who knows my track record as a chairman and a businessman knows that I do not make quick decisions.

'I will evaluate the situation at the end of the season, but I do not see any need to panic.

'It is not in my mind to change anything and I hope it is not in Paul's mind either.

'Domestically, results have not been acceptable but I believe we can turn the corner and improve.

'Paul is here for the long-term. I do not make changes after 10 weeks.'

Scottish international Ferguson believes that responsibility for Rangers' woes do not rest solely with the man in charge.

He told the Scottish Sun: 'I know the gaffer is getting a lot of stick right now but Paul Le Guen is putting out the teams and those crossing the white line have to do more and perform.'

'Everybody has to be in this together. The targets for the flak are always there but, if one of us is hit, everyone should react.

'That's the Rangers way and we have to realise that. We're all to blame.'

Following Wednesday night's spontaneous protest by a section of their fans, the Rangers Supporters' Trust have urged Chairman David Murray to dig deep and bail their club out of trouble.

The Trust believe the Ibrox chairman was not generous enough with his transfer kitty in the summer, and new boss Le Guen is paying the price for making cheap signings as Rangers suffer their worst league start for 23 years.

Le Guen has indicated he would rather work with the players he already has at his disposal than make panic buys in the January transfer window.

But the Trust fear his Ibrox reign is doomed to failure unless he is given cash to build a squad capable of challenging Celtic for honours.

Trust spokesman Stephen Smith said: 'Our view is that a £3million net spend in the summer was never going to be enough to close the gap on a Celtic team who have added Thomas Gravesen and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink to their squad.

'Some of the manager's signings have not been up the standard required at Rangers - but he hasn't really had enough funding.

'David Murray didn't get it wrong when he appointed Paul Le Guen. I personally believe he will come good - but he needs to be given the right tools.'

Smith believes that some fans have been rash in their calls to axe the Frenchman, who led Olympique Lyonnais to three consecutive Ligue 1 titles.

He added: 'The manager has been there only since July and been in charge of 19 competitive games.

'I believe it is a bit premature to call for him to resign.

'He didn't turn into a bad manager when he stepped off the plane at Glasgow Airport, and some of the results in Europe have shown glimpses of what he can do.'

Le Guen, himself, maintains he is ready to carry on the battle to turn around the fortunes of the Glasgow giants.

The Rangers manager said: 'I have no regrets. More than ever, I am happy to be here and I am ready to fight on.'

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