GREGORY VIGNAL has learned from some of the biggest and best names in football over the course of his career.

The former left-back worked under Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez at Liverpool and Alex McLeish at Rangers. The trio he credits with helping him shape his positive outlook on the game and, perhaps, a somewhat weary situation. Vignal's time at Ibrox as Women's manager may have come to an end recently, but he holds no grudges.

A professional footballer with a career spanning 15 years, Vignal knows from experience that's just how football works. As a youngster he didn't play for Montpellier before leaving for Anfield. At Liverpool he was farmed out on loan four times before he departed after just 11 appearances in five years. The Frenchman's philosophy has always been that the club comes first, even if it means his own self-interest comes after.

It's why he was understanding of Rangers' position last month and the pair came to a mutual agreement that he would leave upon expiry of his contract. For Vignal, the experience of working alongside Steven Gerrard and Michael Beale with the men's first-team was valuable for his future. His own role as manager of the women's team was also ideal as it allowed him to learn on the job.

And while he would perhaps rather still be in the role, Vignal left Ibrox with more knowledge and experience than he could have hoped for before he began in the position. "I respect the club's decision," Vignal told H&T Sport. "I had really good chats with Ross [Wilson] and understand they want change and some new people. Everyone knows how much I love the club so I have to respect that. I fell in love when I played for the club and in the past few years I've done a lot, on and off the pitch.

"The club just maybe had a different vision, different ideas so when you're a manager you understand because it's part of the job. I'm strong mentally. I know the club always comes first, I learned that from Gerard Houllier at Liverpool and then I learned more about that from Alex McLeish. So, for me, I have to move on.

"When you're the manager at a big club you're under pressure right from the start. It doesn't matter if it's with the men's team or the women's team. People judge you every single day. I maybe didn't get the chance to finish my job properly but what I've done I think is good, the standard of player there is good, we got to a semi-final, finished well. But you must understand the game, if you don't meet the standards or can't reach the club's targets, you're under pressure, and it's the same with the women's team.

"I was really happy working in the academy, for the first-team and of course the women's team. It's disappointing to leave because it's such a big club. I enjoyed working with the boss, to start the women's professional programme. I must also thank Mark Allen as well as he was fantastic with me and he gave me the opportunity to go back to Rangers. I just want to do the right thing now for me and I'm waiting on a new project."

Vignal played alongside the current Light Blues manager at Liverpool and has enjoyed watching his old pal transition from player to gaffer seamlessly. He has also been lucky enough to work with Michael Beale, whom he credits as being a top coach in his own right.

And he reserved special praise for the pair. But it was another former teammate he wished luck after they also left the club just one week after he did. Now former under-20s coach Peter Lovenkrands opted to depart the club for pastures new and Vignal is desperate for his mate to succeed wherever he ends up next.

"I've been invited to help with tactical positions with Michael [Beale] and the boss which was really good for me to learn their tactical style and the way they prepare their game plan," he added. "I helped with scouting for the first-team, too, so I enjoyed all the jobs, I've been around the club.

"I think you learn from everybody. You have to do so every single day. I knew Steven as a player and now as a manager so it was nice to work with him every day. Michael is a great first-team coach so it was also nice to learn from him. It was a great experience, you must be like a sponge.

"I have to say good luck to my friend Peter [Lovenkrands], he left a week after me and we worked well and a lot together. I wish him the best because he is a very good guy and a good coach."

Vignal admits he will be a Rangers supporter for life, which is why he's hopeful the Gers will be able to end their drought and pick up some sort of silverware this season. He knows it will be difficult, though. Rivals Celtic will be ready and motivated to complete their 10 in a row journey.

But the 38-year-old reckons his old employers have a good chance of stopping the rot thanks to their manager and the standards he has set in the two years he's been at the club. "Celtic will be strong, that's a fact," he said. "Rangers are working really hard and it's up to the players to make sure they win something. The first-team staff are working really hard for the players. The manager has added professionalism and discipline, you're not captain of Liverpool as long as he was without having standards. He knows what he wants so, fingers crossed, they'll win something this year.

"The fans deserve something, they follow everywhere and have already sold 40,000 season tickets or whatever it is. They're one of the best fan bases in the world."