ANDY WATSON probably thought he had experienced Rangers at their lowest ebb.
As assistant to Alex McLeish from 2002 to 2006, he watched a drastic reduction in the budget as the first signs that the club had overspent during Dick Advocaat's tenure soon became apparent.
Out went household names like Tore Andre Flo, the de Boer twins, Arthur Numan Claudio Caniggia and Lorenzo Amoruso. In their place came Bosman bargains and loan signings – Paolo Vanoli, Egil Ostenstad, Olivier Bernard and Pippo Manierio – as Rangers cut their cloth after years of excess and largesse. On the field, they unsurprisingly struggled. McLeish performed a minor miracle to take the title from Celtic on the final day of the 2005 season but they were runners-up by 17 points in 2004 and finished third behind Hearts in 2006. Of course, the passing of time has shown that the situation was actually far worse than Watson had ever known or dared imagine.
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