BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
PETER MacDONALD insists he knew Barry Ferguson was destined for the dugout from the moment they emerged through the Rangers youth ranks.
Now the veteran marksman is determined to help his pal enjoy a first taste of silverware as a boss by firing Clyde to the League 2 title.
MacDonald and Ferguson were both hot prospects at Ibrox in the early 2000s, with the latter establishing himself as captain of club and country and winning 15 trophies in two spells with the Gers, sandwiching a stint at Blackburn.
With first-team opportunities at Rangers limited, MacDonald left the club and has enjoyed a prolific career with St Johnstone, Morton and Dundee – but the pair remained firm friends.
Now reunited at Broadwood, MacDonald has tipped Ferguson to be a roaring success as a manager.
The 35-year-old said: “I played with Barry as a kid and I think he was always destined to be a manager, definitely. Even as young lads he was always a leader, he demanded the absolute best from people around him.
“Over the years, when he became Rangers captain, he had that burning desire to win – and characters like that generally the ones who become good managers. He will be no exception, I’m sure.
“We’ve got on really will since then, but when you join a club it becomes a professional relationship.
“The gaffer is not your mate when you are playing for him. That’s part and parcel of being a footballer – distancing yourself from friends you have signed and focusing on winning the league.
“In the first year it wasn’t really his squad, then last season they narrowly lost out in the playoffs. He’s done a good job with Clyde so far but hopefully this is the season we go one better and win promotion.”
The Bully Wee enjoyed the perfect start to their title bid last week when they claimed a 2-1 win over Montrose – which came as no surprise to the bookmakers.
Boasting the likes of MacDonald, Scott Linton, Scott McLaughlin and Dylan Easton – the gifted winger who notched an early contender for goal of the season last week – Clyde are the favourites to be crowned champions come May.
MacDonald has previously won League 1 with Morton and boasts two Scottish Championship triumphs, so the expectations associated with adding a League 2 crown do not faze him.
He continued: “We got a winning start against Montrose last week and if we can replicate that performance then we are doing the right things. The favourites tag is not something that fazes us – someone has to be the favourites.
“The manager has put together a good squad, we have looked good so far and have a nice mix of experience and some young talented players, with a few who have played at a higher level. That all stands you in good stead.
“So we are obviously seen as one of the front-runners but we’ll treat every other team with respect and see where that takes us. We need to work hard to be up there.”