MARK Warburton last night insisted he was stabbed in the back by certain individuals at Rangers and that he would ‘deny to his dying day’ accusations that he spoke to Nottingham Forest days prior to him leaving Ibrox.

The former manager’s time at Rangers came to a stunning and swift end two years ago this Sunday when the club put out a statement late on a Friday night claiming he had resigned - which he says came as a complete surprise.

That happened just a few hours after the Englishman had held his regular pre-match press conference when he offered no hint that he was ready to walk.

Warburton is adamant that he didn't resign and that while Davie Weir and he did end up going to Nottingham, no talks had taken place before he was, he says, sacked

Back in Glasgow for the first time, the 56-year-old did not hold back on what happened in the run-up to that day in February 2017 in a wide-ranging interview.

Warburton said: “It was just disappointing. I still get the odd abusive text, every day, from fans who think I walked away from the club. Personally, I would never walk away from Rangers. Ever.

“I’ve never said a bad word against the club. I would walk back to Glasgow because it is a magnificent club.

“I was as shocked as you were. I was on my couch, watching Sky Sports News, and I see that I had apparently resigned from the club. That’s how I found out. The rest of it you know.

“From our point of view, would Davie Weir walk away from Rangers? It was a real shock.

“To this day I can say that I didn’t talk to any other club. At all. That was all news to me. People can say what they want but we were preparing for a game on the Saturday, a cup game (at home to Morton) and I found from the yellow ticket tape on Sky Sports News.

“I was lucky prior to coming to Rangers, when leaving Brentford, we had a good CV. We had lots of interested parties, and when we left Rangers we had interested parties and any manager would tell you that's what you want.

“But that came two weeks after leaving Rangers and any other talk I will dispute to my dying day. That was never the case.”

Rangers put out a statement that day which was completely contrary to what Warburton says now and has always maintained.

It read: “Rangers have accepted the resignations of manager Mark Warburton, assistant manager David Weir and the club’s head of recruitment Frank McParland.

“At a meeting with the management team’s representative earlier this week the club were advised that Mr Warburton, Mr Weir and Mr McParland wished to resign their positions and leave the club on condition that Rangers agreed to waive its rights to substantial compensation. Rangers’ agreement to waive compensation would assist the management team to join another club."

Warburton admitted a regret of his was not employing his own press officer because he felt there were too many negative stories about him during his 18 months in Scotland.

He said: “When you talk about what lessons I learned, I would have controlled the media differently. I was told by a top Premier League manager to have your own media man in there, whether it costs a hundred grand a year. I thought how could I possibly do that?

“But in hindsight maybe I should. It’s nothing against the Press but I wasn’t controlling what was coming out of the club.”

Warburton does believe Rangers, behind the scenes, are getting back to where they should be.

But while the old manager admires the job Steven Gerrard has been doing, he still believes Celtic will win an eight league title in a row this season.

Warburton said: “Rangers is a big club, there's a lot going on. Having come through Pedro (Caixinha) and now Steven, the club are moving back to where they need to be. Everyone would do things differently, I think.

“They were at the bottom of Scottish football and I hope they can achieve the aim of winning the title.

“I still think they are a year away. I’m not trying to be derogatory but I still think there is a gap at the moment. But there is no doubt they are closing it.

"I would love to see them win it this year, don’t get me wrong, but I think next year is the year when they have a real go."