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Page last updated at 23:15 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009

Ross warns Fleck of Glasgow life

By David McDaid

Former Rangers defender Maurice Ross
Ross made 13 appearances for Scotland

Former Rangers defender Maurice Ross believes the best advice he could offer teenage Ibrox star John Fleck would be to leave the west coast of Scotland.

Ross, who now plays for Turkish club Kocaelispor, made his Rangers debut at age 19, and has warned about the attention Old Firm players receive.

"I would say just get away from the west coast, it dwarfs you, it really does," Ross told BBC Scotland.

"It's not until you leave you realise how much pressure you're under daily."

Ross spent eight years with Rangers between 1997 and 2005, making over 100 appearances.

During that time he also broke in to the Scotland squad under national team boss Berti Vogts.

But his career faltered during spells at Sheffield Wednesday, Wolves and Millwall, before he moved to Viking Stavanger in Norway.

The 28-year-old views his latest venture to Turkey as a way of winning a transfer back to Britain, and the Championship, at the end of this season.

I'd say to John to keep his head down and move out of the city

Maurice Ross

Ross says part of the reason why his career seemed to slide after moving to England was because nowhere compared with life at Rangers.

Despite that, he admits he does not miss living life under the glare of the Old Firm spotlight.

"Every day I ask what happened. To be honest I don't think I ever recovered from leaving Rangers," said Ross.

"Everything was perfect at the club, and when I went to other places I didn't think things were done as well, and I didn't handle great.

"After being at Rangers from the age of 16 you expect the same standards to be met and they aren't."

And although he has been impressed by Fleck's performances on the pitch, Ross urged the 17-year-old to be careful as he becomes better known around Glasgow.

"This boy's going to be a star. I was just a hard-working honest defender," said Ross.

"If I could have my time again I would have moved out to Livingston, or something, and kept myself out of Glasgow city centre.

"That would be the biggest thing.

"Because even when you're having a cup of coffee you get the wrong kind of attention.

"You're getting watched constantly, and not just when you're playing.

"So I'd say to John to keep his head down and move out of the city, but I think he'll be fine."

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see also
Millwall's Ross goes out on trial
28 Feb 07 |  Millwall
Defender Ross signs Wolves deal
25 Jan 06 |  Wolves

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