Michael O'Neill's assistant Jimmy Nicholl appointed Rangers number two

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Nicholl was assistant to Michael O'Neill (right) as Northern Ireland reached the second round of Euro 2016 in France. Credit: Al Robinson


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Northern Ireland assistant manager Jimmy Nicholl has been appointed assistant manager at Rangers – the club he left as a player 30 years ago.


Michael O'Neill's number two enjoyed two separate spells on the playing staff at Ibrox during the 1980s, first under Jock Wallace and later under Graeme Souness.


The Canadian-born former Northern Ireland international has been double-jobbing as assistant to Paul Hartley at Championship side Falkirk since October.


"I got the opportunity all those years ago with John Greig and Jock Wallace, and then I thought that was going to be it, I'd had my wee spell and fulfilled one of my ambitions,” he told the Gers' website.


"Then, three years later I was back with Graeme Souness and Walter Smith. Then, again I thought that was it after that.


"But 30 years later to have the opportunity to go back to Rangers in this capacity as assistant manager with Graeme Murty, I am so excited and chuffed to bits that Graeme has given me this opportunity."


The 61-year-old made almost 200 appearances for Manchester United over an eight-year period. during a playing career that also took in stints with Sunderland, West Brom and Dunfermline.


He enjoyed the greatest success of his coaching career with Raith Rovers, whom he guided to a First Division title and a Scottish League Cup final win.


He led Raith into the UEFA Cup in 1995/96, where the Kirkcaldy club reached the second round before being eliminated by Bayern Munich.


Nicholl will assist head coach Graeme Murty in the Rangers hotseat after the Scot's caretaker role was made permanent last month.