Winkelman still wonders 'what if' Gerrard had taken the job

Rangers boss Steven GerrardRangers boss Steven Gerrard
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard
The former Liverpool midfielder was the Dons chairman's first choice in 2016

With Rangers sitting 18 points clear of their nearest rivals atop the Scottish Premiership, Dons chairman Pete Winkelman said he still considers what might have been when Steven Gerrard interviewed for the top job at Stadium MK.

In the aftermath of Karl Robinson's sacking in 2016, Winkelman's patient approach saw him wait several weeks before appointing Hearts boss Robbie Neilson, but not before being heavily linked with giving Gerrard his first job in football management.

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Winkelman, no stranger to giving managers that first shot after hiring both Roberto Di Matteo and Robinson without the experience, said Gerrard was his first choice at the time after meeting with him and seeing Rangers dominate north of the border, he can't help but wonder how different things might have been.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Winkelman said: “Steven Gerrard was absolutely my first choice for manager four years ago for the job and when I see him doing so well at Rangers now there is no doubt I ask myself ‘what if?...'

"And there is a little bit of pride and satisfaction in the fact he’s doing so well at Ibrox because it confirms to me that I was right in believing at the time that he would go on to become a successful manager.

“We spoke on more than one occasion at the time with the first conversations taking place over the phone when he was still in Los Angeles before returning to the UK.

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“I was then grateful when Steven agreed to meet face to face and I can only compare the feeling to my dealings with Paul Ince in that he was someone who commanded total respect. He was someone who you could tell had a real plan of what he wanted to do and where he wanted to go. He knew exactly how he planned to be successful, probably the same as when he was a player.

“Unfortunately for us the timing just wasn’t right and we missed out on Steven. We now have Russell Martin, a name familiar to Scottish football fans, and we’re happy with the progress we’re making.

“Would we have got there quicker if we’d appointed Steven in 2016? We will never know but I’m convinced we would have been and his time at Rangers suggests that would have been the case."