Ex Rangers fan favourite lands first managerial job with club nicknamed ‘boys in green’

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Former Gers frontman Nacho Novo has taken charge of USL League One side Lexington SC in the United States.

Rangers icon Nacho Novo has landed his first job in management after taking over as boss of USL League One side Lexington SC in the United States on an interim basis.

The Spaniard served as assistant coach and under-23s manager of the Kentucky-based outfit nicknamed ‘boys in green’, working alongside close friend and former Colchester defender Sam Stockely.

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Stockley has since decided to step down from his role as first-team manager to concentrate fully on his position as sporting director and ex-Ibrox striker Novo has been handed the reigns after spending almost 10 months as No.2.

The 44-year-old - fondly remembered for scoring the winning penalty during Rangers UEFA Cup semi-final shootout triumph over Fiorentina in 2008 - moved Stateside in November last year to join forces with Stockley at Lexington, who compete in the third tier of the American soccer system.

Novo had initially hoped to transition into coaching after leaving Northern Irish side Glentoran in 2017. He took charge of his first match during Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Charlotte Independence.

Lexington SC currently sit ninth in the 12-team league and face an uphill battle to claim a play-off spot for promotion to the USL Championship. They take on Chattanooga Red Wolves in their latest fixture this weekend.

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A club statement released by majority shareholder Bill Shively read: “Lexington Sporting Club has named Nacho Novo - who previously served as the club’s First Assistant Coach - Interim Head Coach of the men’s first team, freeing up Sam Stockley to dedicate more time to his original role as Men’s Sporting Director.

“Nacho has a tremendous track record on the pitch as a player and we have seen him grow as a coach in his short time with us. As our entire Club continues to grow, we hope to finish our inaugural season on a high note.”

Signed by Alex McLeish in 2006, Novo won three league titles, two League Cups and one Scottish Cup as well as picking up a UEFA Cup runners-up medal in Manchester. He also had spells in Scotland with Raith Rovers and Greenock Morton before hanging up his boots.

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