FORMER Rangers captain Barry Ferguson has revealed he realised he had made a mistake by leaving Ibrox for Blackburn Rovers within a week of making the move.
The ex-Scotland midfielder departed the club in 2003 on the back of a treble-winning season in which he picked up PFA Players’ Player of the Year and Scottish Football Writers’ Player of the Year awards.
He spent a season and a half at Ewood Park after his £7.5 million transfer before returning to the Light Blues and insists on reflection that he was wrong to depart the Gers at that stage of his career.
Speaking to Si Ferry of Open Goal, he said: “The year before there was a couple of clubs who were interested in me. I wasn’t interested in leaving, to be honest with you.
“A couple of clubs came in, but I kind of just let the club deal with it, I didn’t want it to play on my mind.
“But the club needed a bit of money at that stage and Blackburn met the valuation. I knew that week leading up to the Copenhagen game that that was my last game.
“Did I want to leave? In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have left, I should have stayed another season.
When asked if he had no choice but to agree to a switch, Ferguson replied: “They needed money. At the end of the day the decision is left with me but I spoke to Graeme Souness, who was one of my heroes.
“I spoke to him a couple of times on the phone. I went back to Rangers and they told me they’d met the valuation.
“I went down to speak to them and I knew as soon as I signed, I knew a week later I’d made a mistake. It didn’t feel right.”
Ferguson had some kind words for Rovers despite his short spell with the Premier League outfit, but said he struggled adapting to less pressurised surroundings.
“Blackburn were a great club,” he said. “The people round about the club and some of the players they had.
“Tugay was there, Amo was there, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, Lucas Neill, Brad Friedel – we had proper players.
“I just couldn’t get going out and if you’d draw a game or got beat you never really got booed. I could never really get my head around that.
“Then I got a bad injury at Newcastle, Gary Speed bumped into me and I fractured my kneecap and done my ligaments in my knee. So that made it even worse.
“My family moved down, we got a house down there, the kids came down, they were settled. But in the back of my head, I needed put under pressure in games.
“All teams go out to win, but it’s a disaster up here if you don’t win. Down there it wasn’t like that.”