BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital city Press
Ian Black insists he was made a scapegoat at Rangers last season – and has blasted the club after reading in the newspaper that he had been freed.
The midfielder didn’t make a single start in Stuart McCall’s 17 games in charge at the tail end of last season as the Ibrox club were condemned to another campaign in the Championship following a play-off defeat to Motherwell.
The 30-year-old was also criticised for his performance in December’s 4-0 thrashing at Hibs after then caretaker manager Kenny McDowall substituted the player before half-time after Black was booked for a challenge on Scott Allan.
But Black, who helped Rangers clinch League 1 and 2 titles, insists he has been unfairly singled out following Rangers failure to climb back to the Premiership.
He said: “I had a reputation and profile, sometimes I think it’s unfair, sometimes it is fair. To be made a scapegoat is unfair.
“I started to not play as much because they tried to protect me but I had a different view because I deal with that everywhere I go.
“I’m a senior pro now and I can deal with the flak. I definitely feel like I was one of the scapegoats along with a couple of other boys.”
Black was one of 11 players to be axed at Ibrox this summer as new manager Mark Wartburton sets about building a squad that is capable of winning the Championship title.
But the former Hearts player insists no-one at Rangers got in touch to tell him he had been released.
He added: “We had to read in the papers that we were all released, which is always disappointing.
“The boys that were there achieved two promotions; we had a bad season last season.
“We didn’t get a thank you or a phone call to say, ‘thanks, we’re not going to renew your contract’. Boys would respect that more but none of us have received that.”
Speaking to Sky Sports, former Blackburn trainee Black admits he is keen to return to England following spells at Inverness, Hearts and Rangers
He added: “I’ve got a few options just down south, it’s a case of weighing them up and picking one and hitting the ground running with the challenge.”