YOU couldn’t help but be impressed with what Michael O’Neill has achieved with Northern Ireland over the last six years.

It is no surprise then that he should be linked with the Rangers job given the set of circumstances that sees the Ibrox post vacant at the same time as the former Dundee United and Hibs player is looking to move on.

But despite what will be an impressive CV, taking Northern Ireland to the Euro 2016 finals and coming within winning a play-off to book a place at the World Cup finals for the first time in 30-odd years, he isn’t top of my shopping list for the Gers role. And my reasoning is simple.

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As an international manager, your time is spent organising and setting-up the team how you want them to play, working with experienced professionals, and, doing very little in the way of coaching skills.

You are all about assembling the best squad of players you can, and moulding that group of players into a cohesive and functional unit.
To that end, it is all down to him and his coaches; finding a system, playing to it, and doing it five or six times a year, when it matters.

That is a completely different job to what would face him at Rangers, where he would have to assemble an entirely new team, firstly around what is there, and then what might be available in the transfer windows, while having to work with a director of football who could have final say on who is and isn’t recruited.

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On top of that, and given that money could again be in short supply at Rangers, who would have to adopt and introduce kids from the club’s Academy set-up to augment the first-team squad. And if that wasn’t enough, he’d need to get Rangers winning and climbing up the table.
With Northern Ireland, he got 12 games to get it right.

He wouldn’t have that luxury with Rangers. He’d be into the thick of it from the off. And I just wonder if that would be too much of a change of pace for Michael.