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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 December 2005, 22:30 GMT
McLeish keeps counsel over future
Alex McLeish celebrates at Ibrox
Alex McLeish refused to be drawn on his own future despite praising his Rangers side to the hilt after progressing from Champions League Group H.

"We'll take 48 hours to decide what's best for the future of Rangers and what's best for Alex McLeish," he said after the 1-1 draw with Inter Milan.

"We've been through troubled times, but the players were magnificent and showed the character that befits this club.

"It's tempered by the poor league form, but it is a magnificent achievement."

Rangers finished second in their pool to become the first Scottish team to progress from the group stages.

But McLeish is believed to be on the brink of being forced to stand down as manager with his side having now gone a club record 10 games without a victory and slipping to fifth in the Scottish Premier League.

I want him to stay and all the rest of the lads want him to stay
Rangers midfielder Bob Malcolm

Asked if it had been his last game in charge, McLeish said: "I don't know. We will have chats over the next couple of days with the chairman.

"I'm sure we will have something to say in, maybe, 48 hours or so."

Qualification was only confirmed when news filtered through from Slovakia that Artmedia Brastislava and Porto had drawn 0-0 when a victory for the home side would have taken them above Rangers.

"I am absolutely jubilant, because they played a very disciplined performance against a very talented and dangerous team," said McLeish.

"The players were magnificent - fantastic.

"It is a great night for Scottish football and, more importantly, for Rangers."

Bob Malcolm made a rare start in the Rangers midfield and thought he had answered his own critics.

"I've taken pelters in the last couple of seasons, but I knew I could do it all along and it was just up to the gaffer to play me," he said.

"But I want him to stay and all the rest of the lads want him to stay."

Scotland boss Walter Smith heralded McLeish's achievement after watching his Future team defeat Poland at Rugby Park.

"It was a perfect result for Alex and a terrific result for Rangers," he said.

"For a small country, that is a terrific achievement: great for Rangers and I'm pleased for Alex after difficult circumstances recently."

Interview: Former Scottish international Pat Nevin


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