Ian Ferguson on Souness and what it means to play for Rangers

LenzieLoyal

Well-Known Member

Ian Ferguson – Graeme Souness used to say: ‘If a Rangers strip is too heavy for you, then don’t wear it!

By Fraser Mackie
July 25, 2021, 9:00 am


Ian Ferguson proudly displays his impressive medal haul from his time in Light Blue


Ian Ferguson proudly displays his impressive medal haul from his time in Light Blue
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For every Rangers player recently acquainted with a taste for league titles, Ian Ferguson’s Ibrox medal haul should provide inspiration.
Rewards from 10 Scottish top-flight victories are prized possessions that go rather nicely with the three Scottish Cup and five League Cup mementos he won with the Light Blues.
The ferocious midfield competitor admits many ingredients were responsible for helping him accumulate honours at a relentless rate.

He topped up from the Nine-In-A-Row era with a Treble in Dick Advocaat’s first season, 1998/99.
But he insists there was nothing routine about it, and that repeating success requires many special essentials.
And, in the knowledge that “one and done” is not going to be acceptable, Rangers fanatic Ferguson sincerely hopes Steven Gerrard’s group possess them.

In having a manager with Gerrard’s appetite for glory and an elite mentality, Ferguson recognises shades of his first Rangers boss, Graeme Souness, the man who started the trophy glut continued by Walter Smith.
Ferguson, a Scottish Cup winner with St Mirren before signing for £1-million in 1988, noted: “The great thing is Rangers have a guy in Gerrard, who wants to win constantly.
“The players have got to follow him. They’ve got to understand this can’t be a one-hit wonder.

“Yes, we’ve celebrated because it’s been a long time coming. We stopped 10-in-a-row. Brilliant. But I don’t want to settle there.
“Let’s knuckle down for 56. Because I want to go for two, three-in-a-row. Players must understand they’ve now got bigger targets on their back.
“Everyone wants to beat Rangers, anyway. It’s now different as champions, so it’s down to how they handle that.
“They need to be strong of mind, and mentally and physically ready for what’s about to hit them.

“We were absolutely spoiled to have a squad packed with guys who had desire, hunger, determination and will to win to keep doing it, year after year.
“Ally McCoist, Terry Butcher, Ian Durrant, John Brown, Richard Gough, Ray Wilkins. I could keep going. So many players who drove the club. Invaluable.
“The way, I think, Steven Davis is. Allan McGregor is class, too, and probably Jermain Defoe as well.
“I guess that worries me a little bit. Have we enough players in there we know can do that?”
Ferguson, alongside Mo Johnston and Ally McCoist, under the watchful gaze of then Ibrox boss Graeme Souness in 1989 who, Ferguson says, shares similar traits with current boss Steven Gerrard © SNS GroupFerguson, alongside Mo Johnston and Ally McCoist, under the watchful gaze of then Ibrox boss Graeme Souness in 1989 who, Ferguson says, shares similar traits with current boss Steven Gerrard
Ferguson recalls how Souness set the successful era up by drilling into his players the demand Rangers would never trail Celtic again.
He explained: “After Celtic won the Double in their Centenary year, I’ll never forget a meeting in the middle of the pitch at the Il Ciocco pre-season training camp in Tuscany.

“We’d had two weeks at home training at Bellahouston Park, when not too much was said. Then it was our first trip away in Italy.
“Souness stated, in no uncertain terms, what he wanted from us.
“He said: ‘Second best isn’t for Rangers. So if you can’t handle the pressure, and don’t like it, then you shouldn’t be here.
“‘And if the strip is too heavy for you, then don’t wear it. We want people who are going to carry that strip.

“That, for me, was great. To make clear the expectation. There were a lot of inspiring quotes, reminding you it was your responsibility to take Rangers forward.
“You realised if you followed the manager, you wouldn’t go far wrong. His speeches on what he wanted from players – and what he wanted for Rangers – were a massive part of driving the club.
“It gives me goosebumps to this day when I think about them. We all bought into that.
“Then, after Graeme, Walter carried it on straight away, and I’m sure Gerrard will preach the same.”
Ferguson likes the additions the Rangers boss has made to the current squad and, watching Rangers every week from his home in Perth, Australia, he hopes last season’s heroes respond as he always did.

Ferguson said: “Everyone should feel under threat at Rangers. I felt it every summer, that it was always my place that was in danger.

“John Brown, Stuart McCall, Nigel Spackman, Paul Gascoigne, Rino Gattuso all came in, and I always thought: ‘Is he coming in for me?’
“It taught me to always try harder, train harder, play harder. That’s the only way I could stay at Ibrox so long.
“I always knew I had to match competition for my jersey, or be better than him, every day. I was never going to give up my spot easily.
“Walter’s signings were a massive part of it.
“He was brilliant at knowing when to tweak the team, and bring someone in to give us a lift.
“Steven’s doing it from within, too, and also trying to get Nathan Patterson and James Tavernier in the team.
“I’ve wondered about this for a while. But I’m sure Steven will tinker about, and figure it out to make this Rangers team even better.”

Brilliant stuff from Fergie - an absolute legend!

That was an incredible time to be a Rangers supporter, and now, under Steven Gerrard, the young Bears that have been starved of success for so long can begin to reap the rewards of their loyalty.
 

gersandproud

Well-Known Member
A winning mentality with a determination & motivation to be the best - can obviously be just as important as skill & ability -

In fact there's many a successful player who has made up for any shortfall in ability by motivation & a will to win

To me that should always be a core part of any individual Rangers player & collectively all Rangers teams

Fergie is a perfect example - but to be fair - there are countless other examples in our history

I'm glad to say there's now firm evidence we're incorporating the same determination among our current squad - & long may it continue
 

TQ3

Well-Known Member
I loved the fact he always gave his all every time he played and would have played in goal if asked.

The small number of caps he got for Scotland was a disgrace.
He did mate, I can’t remember of the top of my head against who, but Fergie has wore the gloves for the team he loves!
Edit. @davyloyal is the man. V St Boo.
 

Bluetou

Well-Known Member
Remember talking to a tim at work after beating them in a game and he said something that i never noticed at the time, he said " we were playing quite well until you brought Ferguson on and you could see the colour drain from the Celtic faces and they started sitting off " basically they were scared of Fergie because they knew he wasn't pulling out of anything.
 

davyloyal

Well-Known Member
He did mate, I can’t remember of the top of my head against who, but Fergie has wore the gloves for the team he loves!
Edit. @davyloyal is the man. V St Boo.
Kenny McDowall fouled Chris Woods and Fergie went in goals. To add insult to injury, McDowall scored the only goal. Opening game of 1989-90
 

mrsjr1872

Well-Known Member





Brilliant stuff from Fergie - an absolute legend!

That was an incredible time to be a Rangers supporter, and now, under Steven Gerrard, the young Bears that have been starved of success for so long can begin to reap the rewards of their loyalty.
My favourite ever ranger! what a player what a dig he had forgot how good he was til I rewatched the 9iar seasons class act
 

erskine bear

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer
Still St Mirren’s record sale, due to where I live a lot of my mates are St Mirren fans and they adore him.
 

Gilberstoun Bear

Well-Known Member
Official Ticketer





Brilliant stuff from Fergie - an absolute legend!

That was an incredible time to be a Rangers supporter, and now, under Steven Gerrard, the young Bears that have been starved of success for so long can begin to reap the rewards of their loyalty.
Fergie My favourite Ranger of all time what a man!
 

HMS.Temple.Garden

Well-Known Member
A player that dragged you through games if you weren't playing well, same goes for him.

Wasn't afraid to mix it up, a bit of verbals and threats and offers.

That League Cup final goal against the Sheep in 88 is always the 1st goal I think of when Fergie is mentioned!
 

NYC Davie

Well-Known Member
I honestly think a lot of people forget that Ian Ferguson wasn’t just a hard man. Much like John Greig, he was pigeon-holed into the “thug in the middle of the park” category. It’s absolute bollocks of course. Sure, they had the tacking ability to frighten the opposition and break down play. But they could both set things up and chip in a few goals as well.

He WAS hard too right enough - maybe Di Canio could confirm…
 

Paulski55

Well-Known Member
I fucking loved Ian ferguson growing up as a player. I used to hang my football top out my right side and tuck in the left just like him, tried to smash the ball as hard as him but could never ever be as good!!

Brilliant midfielder who would have died for the club. Proper Ranger who hated those tramps as much as the fan on the terraces, and treated them with contempt as well.

Funny enough, he was brought up in Barrowfield as well, right next to the midden. My mum and all my mums family are from that area too, my mum used to run about with him and his pal Willie Lyle, when they were young pups!!
 

tazzabear

Well-Known Member
A winning mentality with a determination & motivation to be the best - can obviously be just as important as skill & ability -

In fact there's many a successful player who has made up for any shortfall in ability by motivation & a will to win

To me that should always be a core part of any individual Rangers player & collectively all Rangers teams

Fergie is a perfect example - but to be fair - there are countless other examples in our history

I'm glad to say there's now firm evidence we're incorporating the same determination among our current squad - & long may it continue
That’s not true, bud.
You’re unlikely to make it on skill alone but you need the game first.
For example, Andy Halliday would have ran through fire for Rangers but didn’t have the game to make him a first pick.
There have been many more, you and I, no doubt, being two of them.
 

tazzabear

Well-Known Member
I remember Souness getting tore into Fergie a few times the week before he signed against St Mirren, almost like a “right son lets see what your made of”
Rangers legend.
Did he not do similar with John Brown?
Brown stood up to the challenge but Souness saw enough there and then to sign him?
Or, is that just a nonsense?
 

DonDraper

Well-Known Member





Brilliant stuff from Fergie - an absolute legend!

That was an incredible time to be a Rangers supporter, and now, under Steven Gerrard, the young Bears that have been starved of success for so long can begin to reap the rewards of their loyalty.
The best Ferguson ever to play for rangers, a legend of epic proportions
 

Bluebearjim

Well-Known Member
A great midfielder for us, not only tough in the tackle but skillful as well. A guy just like us, who achieved his lifetime ambition, to play for THE RANGERS. His medal haul speaks for itself. Loved Fergie.
WATP
 

DennyFord5

New Member





Brilliant stuff from Fergie - an absolute legend!

That was an incredible time to be a Rangers supporter, and now, under Steven Gerrard, the young Bears that have been starved of success for so long can begin to reap the rewards of their loyalty.
Souness signed Gough, Brown, Walters, Wilkins and Ferguson during 87/88 season in the back of Woods and Butcher coming in 86. Stevens followed, then MoJo, Steven, Spackman and Hately Souness built the foundations for NIAR.
Smith added some magic sprinkles like Goram, Miko, Gazza and Laudrup and some extra steel in Robertson and McCall.
It was a great time to be a Ranger
 
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