Ferguson feels for pair
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Barry Ferguson has urged Steven Naismith and Lee McCulloch to stay professional.Barry Ferguson has urged Rangers targets Steven Naismith and Lee McCulloch to stay professional.
Rangers boss Walter Smith set his sights on both players earlier this summer but has not been successful in pushing through a deal for either.
Kilmarnock have rejected four offers for Naismith and Smith now says he has withdrawn his interest in the forward.
Rangers have yet to meet Wigan's asking price for McCulloch even though they have been negotiating for some time.
Ferguson insists he can understand what the pair are going through after being forced to wait for his return to Ibrox, but he does not believe they should give up hope.
"I had the same situation when I was down the road at Blackburn," he said. "I had to wait for about six weeks.
"You have just got to be professional. That's what I did at Blackburn - you have just got to give 100 per cent every day at training and hope something will happen.
"I'm mates with big Lee, I grew up playing with Lee. He is another one that is desperate to come but he is in a similar situation as Steven Naismith.
"He has just got to be professional and go about his job in the right manner, work away at Wigan and see if something happens."
Ferguson missed pre-season 12 months ago after ankle surgery, but is fully fit this year and confident his side can have a successful campaign.
But he does concede that it will probably take a few more signings for Rangers to challenge Glasgow rivals Celtic.
Speaking at the launch of Rangers' new white and 'aubergine' away strip, Ferguson said: "We have got to be confident - there's a big difference in the changing room, it's a happy changing room. Everybody is buzzing.
"We have got the right man for the job now in Walter Smith and I'm sure he'll bring in the right players.
"I'm sure the manager knows himself he still needs three or four players, it's whether he can get them."