DAVID Robertson knew how Ally McCoist felt when he took charge of Rangers before they kicked off their Third Division campaign two seasons ago.

For he encountered an identical situation after he was appointed coach at new United States Pro League franchise Phoenix last year.

The former Rangers and Scotland man had to start a team from scratch - just like his old team-mate did before the 2011/12 season got under way.

He said: "Last year we had a real tough time on and off the field. It was our first year and we had no players to start off with, absolutely nothing.

"It was very, very difficult. You play against MLS clubs over here as well.

"The league we play in has a good relationship with the MLS clubs and we play the likes of Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids and LA Galaxy."

Robertson, though, is enjoying life greatly in the third tier of the professional game in the United States.

He said: "Phoenix has the same population as Scotland and we get around 4000 fans coming to our home games.

"The weather is good every day as well, which is good. We can play our matches in temperatures of up to 46ºC.

"We had a couple of Scottish lads playing for us last season, Darren Mackie and Scott Morrison, so it was hard for them to deal with.

"The season over here runs from March to September. We are preparing for our new campaign."

Robertson added: "But I like being based here. Nobody knows who you are so you can go about your day-to-day business without being bothered.

"But every now and again you will be sitting in a restaurant or something and you will hear a Scottish accent.

"Somebody will recognise you and come over and ask you about Rangers."