Former Rangers favourite Gordon Smith has hit out at the Ibrox board for their bitter response to Derek McInnes' snub.

Gers released a statement on Thursday night after learning the Aberdeen boss had turned down the chance to return to his old club as manager.

It said they had "endorsed" the 46-year-old's decision to stay put as they hinted he was not up to managing "a massive club like Rangers".

The statement added: "We continue to consider candidates but will only appoint someone in whom we have full confidence and who feels he is ready for the job."

But those words have perplexed former striker Smith - who also previously served at Ibrox as director of football.

He told Sky Sports News: "I find the whole thing astonishing.

"It seems strange that it takes so long to make the appointment, then when Derek turns it down they come out with this statement saying it was probably the right thing that he stays at Pittodrie because really they were trying to assess whether he was the right person for the job and the fact he is staying at Pittodrie proves he isn't the right person.

"It's almost like they are saying he didn't have the bottle for such a big role.

"It absolutely is an embarrassment for the Rangers board. They are trying to say now that he wasn't the number one candidate.

"I just don't understand how they can say that."