Durrant back in the game

Ian Durrant says he aims to use lessons learned from title-winning Rangers bosses to help Dumbarton beat the drop.

The former Ibrox midfielder has been hired as Sons manager Stevie Aitken’s new assistant.

Durrant – who has been out of work since being axed from a youth-coach role at Gers by current boss Mark Warburton last summer – will take up his new dugout duties for the first time when Dumbarton travel to Raith Rovers on Saturday.

And the 50-year-old believes he can make a difference as eighth-placed Sons look to move away from the Ladbrokes Championship’s bottom pair Ayr and St Mirren.

“I love football and I’m delighted to have the chance to be involved at Dumbarton,” he told the club’s official website.

“I appreciate the opportunity Stevie has given me. I’ve had a nice break from the game but after Christmas I made a conscious decision that I wanted to get back in.

“The team has done great in the Championship and of course I think they can stay up. They are usually favourites to go down at the start but everybody loves an underdog.

“I’ve learned from playing under several managers – Walter Smith, Graeme Souness and more recently Alex McLeish and Mark Warburton.

“They all have different concepts of how the game should be played, but it’s not rocket science. It’s about getting the players to perform to the best of their ability and we have a great bunch at Dumbarton.”

Meanwhile, basement boys St Mirren will have new signing Stephen McGinn in their squad for their home clash with Falkirk.

The 28-year-old started his career off with the Buddies and has now returned seven years after the end of his first spell.

McGinn – who will be joined in Jack Ross’ squad by fellow new recruit Cammy Smith – will take the place of Saints youngster Kyle McAllister after the 18-year-old clinched his own move to Derby County.

He said: “I’m delighted to have signed again. When I heard there was a chance to come back here, knowing the manager and knowing the club, I was desperate to come back.”

McAllister has won his move to Pride Park despite having made just 15 first-team starts.

“I’m delighted, but nervous,” he told Saints’ official website. “It’s going to be new to me moving away from my family, but what an opportunity it is to become a top player.

“I wasn’t a St Mirren fan when I was younger, but the club will always be big in my heart. They’ll always be a big part of me and I’ll always say that. All I want is for this club to stay up and then try to get back into the Premiership soon.

“I want to say thanks to the St Mirren supporters. They’ve supported me since I first came into the first team and everything I’ve seen from them is positive. I just thought now was the perfect time to move, but the fans have been brilliant and I just want to say thanks to them.”

Table-toppers Hibernian face Queen of the South at Palmerston as they look to protect their six-point lead in the race for promotion, while nearest challengers Dundee United are also on the road this weekend as they head to Dunfermline.

Third-placed Morton will hope to keep pace with the top two as they take on Ayr United at Somerset Park.

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