Rangers assistant coach Damian Matthew insists his Ibrox arrival is not an old pals act despite his friendship with Michael Beale exceeding 20 years.

The new Ibrox backroom staff member joined Beale at Rangers from QPR alongside Neil Banfield and Harry Watling.

And while the duo have been pals for decades, Matthew is only working alongside Beale for the second time in his career at Rangers.

The former Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Burnley midfielder previously worked with Beale at QPR but was aware of the Ibrox boss from his time recruiting youth talents in London - despite not working directly with him.

"Many years ago when I was coaching at Chelsea and Michael was starting his coaching career we had centres in London that were developing and recruiting the best players in London," explained Matthew in a Rangers TV interview. "He was involved in that process, I then left actually and went to Charlton to be a youth team coach and he then took that role on full-time.

"We've been friends for well over 20 years, and when we say friends it's also big debates that we have like you would do in a coaching team now and that's what I think sets him apart and why as coaches you enjoy working with people who challenge you, and we're here for a fantastic challenge."

Matthew has been tasked with taking responsibility for working with the Ibrox midfielders in his new role under Beale.

The former England under-21 midfielder is hopeful he can use his own experience alongside that of international players Steven Davis and Scott Arfield at Ibrox.

He added: "The way Michael works in terms of the training is he is a really hands-on coach, really hands-on manager which is excellent because I think the players see daily the energy and the drive that you need. He does that very well.

"We obviously help, assist but then also the best part for me as I've gone through my coaching career  - coming from that youth background to now - is looking after midfielders, so I'll predominantly look after midfielders.

"That was the position I played in so I have that understanding of what it takes but it's great for me to be working with the likes of Steven Davis. Again, I was lucky enough to play for the under-21s but not the national so again Scott Arfield as well - all these players that have got international experience.

"That's one of the strengths as the coach is to try and bring out their experience to help all these younger players developing as well."