Rangers legend Ally McCoist believes Steven Davis has the potential to be a future manager of the Scottish champions.
avis plans to take his coaching badges and revealed that on the day he could have broken the British caps record, he watched Northern Ireland’s friendly defeat to the United States from the stand to get a coach’s perspective of the game.
The 36-year-old eventually earned his 126th cap the following Wednesday in the World Cup qualifier with Bulgaria at Windsor Park.
“I sent him a message congratulating him on an amazing achievement to beat Peter Shilton’s record,” said McCoist, who was Davis’ boss in the final year of his first Ibrox stint.
“Steven was always a player who stood out from the crowd. It doesn’t surprise me that he broke that record.”
And while Davis continues to set the pace on the pitch, McCoist fully expects him to make his mark when he finally hangs up his boots.
“When he first walked through the Ibrox doors in 2008, you could see he was a thinker. While you don’t see that potential as a coach or manager in most players, in some it’s natural and develops fast,” said McCoist.
“Steven has always taken the game very seriously. It is absolutely no surprise to me that it’s the avenue he will go down when he stops playing.
“He was always asking questions in a mild, well-mannered way that you came to expect from him. Steven is never one to do anything rash on or off a football pitch. He has the ability to create time for himself and he is very, very clever about the game.”
Rangers have a rich history of former players taking the managerial reins, from Scott Symon to Graeme Souness.
When Walter Smith retired in 2011, McCoist stepped up to lead the club through troubled times that included a restart in the fourth tier of the Scottish game.
With the club unable to honour existing contracts, high-earners like Davis moved on, but the Cullybackey man returned to the Glasgow giants in 2019 after seven years at Southampton.
“There certainly isn’t another player at Ibrox just now who knows that club better than Steven,” added McCoist.
“It is his second period there and he is a fantastic servant.
“He is steeped in the Rangers tradition, learning from everyone from Walter Smith to Steven Gerrard. He’s also got Gary McAllister there, too, to lean on.”
An exciting new chapter has been put on hold after Davis recently signed a contract extension that will see him playing until at least the end of next season.
McCoist added: “I am sure there was an option to coach a bit next season and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s already taking in a lot of reserve and youth games.
“But I’d urge him to continue playing. He is a very fit guy who can play for another year and perhaps another year after that. Why not? Your playing days are your best days.
“It is also to the club’s advantage having him out there, leading by example. Someone who can look, listen and learn. That sort of appetite is infectious.”
And McCoist believes that Davis’ international experience with both club and country will have a huge bearing in his ability to be a managerial success.
He was his country’s youngest-ever captain when handed the armband in 2006 at just 21-years-old, and was made regular skipper by Michael O’Neill in 2012.
“All those caps and European matches help immensely,” said McCoist.
“He’s seen it all and done it all. Nothing fazes him. He has played in the Euro Finals, but has also experienced times where his international and club sides have struggled.
“Nothing is wasted. You learn a lot from losing as well as winning. You learn about yourself and the players around you. It makes you a better individual, player and ultimately coach or manager.”