Rangers: Walter Smith 'perfect fit', says Alex McLeish

Alex McLeish has described Walter Smith's appointment to the board of Rangers as a "perfect fit".

Rangers announced on Sunday that former manager Smith and retired Glasgow businessman Ian Hart had accepted the role of non-executive directors.

"It's fantastic news," said McLeish. "It just seems a perfect fit for Walter Smith to be part of Rangers.

"Not only his business acumen, but his football brain, is a great asset to the football club."

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It's a surprise that Hibs are at the top of the league

Alex McLeish

The moves come five months after Smith's unsuccessful bid to buy out Charles Green's controlling consortium.

Green has now successfully persuaded Smith, who handed the manager's reins to Ally McCoist in 2011, to join his group.

"I know that he won't interfere with Coisty, but I'm sure Coisty will be chapping on his door and he's probably been doing it the last year or so that he's been in the role," said McLeish.

"I don't know Charles Green. He seems to be making all the right noises.

"There's some progress there. Walter Smith taking one of the roles will be fantastic news for Rangers fans."

McLeish was in Scotland to address a coaching course at Hampden

McLeish was in Scotland to address a coaching course at Hampden

Meanwhile, another of McLeish's former clubs are making progress.

Hibernian are top of the Scottish Premier League just a few months after a humiliating 5-1 Scottish Cup final defeat by city rivals Hearts and having narrowly avoided relegation.

"It's a surprise that they're at the top of the league," said the man who exited Aston Villa in the summer.

"I watched the Cup final and, having had an attachment with Hibs, was as disappointed as the Hibs fans.

"It was great for them to get to the final, probably a little bit ahead of their time, but the manner of the defeat was heavy and it's there forever in the history books."

McLeish believes giving Pat Fenlon time as manager was key to the turnaround.

Asked if Hibs can maintain their current position and stay in touch with Celtic, McLeish added: "They're playing good football just now and, when your guys are on the crest of a wave, you feel you can keep doing it.

"Confidence will play a major part in it."