Newcastle loanees at Rangers must play when fit, manager Kenny McDowall reveals

Rangers manager Kenny McDowall admits he has been told to play all five Newcastle loanees who signed on transfer deadline day.

Newcastle owner Mike Ashley owns 10 percent of Scottish Championship club Rangers, who last week the club accepted a 10 million-pound loan from the Sports Direct founder.

The Magpies sent midfielders Shane Ferguson, Haris Vuckic and Gael Bigirimana to Rangers along with defenders Kevin Mbabu and Remie Streete for the rest of the season.

Speaking at the Murray Park training centre, McDowall, who has signalled his intent to leave at the end of the season, said: "On Monday night I got a call from Derek [Llambias, Rangers chief executive] saying he had secured five players on loan.

"Three of them arrived and two of them will be coming the next three or four weeks -- they are injured. When I was given the job I was told players incoming and outgoing wouldn't be my responsibility.

"I take the team and coach the team and I am more than happy to get on with it."

Asked if he was duty-bound to play them, he replied: "Yes."

Then asked if he had to play every one of them every week, he again, replied: "Yes. They are obviously good players -- they play for Newcastle -- but I will carry on and do what I am told to do."

Llambias later denied that the board was picking the team. In a statement given to Sky Sports News HQ, Llambias said: "There's no way the board is picking the team.

"The basis of any loan deal is that the players who arrive bolster the side and give the squad more depth. That's exactly what is happening here."

The loan moves are likely to be the subject of scrutiny when Ashley faces a Scottish Football Association judicial panel over his interests in both clubs on March 2.

Ferguson, 23, has 18 caps for Northern Ireland and gained the most match experience at Newcastle, scoring three times in 32 appearances.

Bigirimana, 21, has made 23 appearances with Newcastle. Vuckic, 22, is a Slovenia international, who has also played on loan at Cardiff and Rotherham.

Streete, 20, played on loan at Port Vale earlier this season, while Mbabu, 19, is a Swiss youth international.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.