McCoist backs duo to shine

Motherwell have no fresh injuries ahead of their SPL clash with

Aberdeen at Fir Park on Boxing Day.

Well boss Stuart McCall is likely to name a similar squad to the

one who lost to St Mirren on Friday night.

Defender Steven Saunders is continuing his recovery from knee

surgery but is unlikely to return to first-team action until early

in the New Year.

Aberdeen goalkeeper Jamie Langfield is available after

suspension, and Andrew Considine has recovered from a virus.

Jonny Hayes trained on Monday after missing Saturday’s win over

St Johnstone with a knock and manager Craig Brown said both Stephen

Hughes and Ryan Fraser have a chance of returning from injury.

Ryan Jack, Rob Milsom, Chris Clark, Gary Naysmith and Isaac

Osbourne remain out.

The pair joined the Light Blues in August and both saw the first

half of the season marred by injuries.

Sandaza suffered a fractured cheekbone that almost resulted in

him losing an eye, while Templeton was sidelined for a number of

weeks with ankle ligament damage.

The duo – who both plied their trade with top-flight clubs

before opting for a switch to the Third Division – are now fit

again and back in action, with McCoist expecting big things from


He said: “I think they’ve both got a big role to play.

“They are completely different players but I think they could

have a big impact on the team and the squad and results coming


“Fran is coming back from what can only be described as a

horrific facial injury and I still think it will take him a wee

while to get his full confidence back as much as anything.

“It was a really bad one but he will come back and score goals –

I don’t have any doubts about that at all.

“Temps will do the exact same. He will create for others and he

will also chip in with important goals.

“He’s got a great degree of quality, which makes him a favourite

with the support. I would expect big things from the two of


Winger Templeton claimed a double at the weekend as Rangers

secured a 6-2 win at nearest rivals Elgin City to open up a

nine-point gap at the summit with a game in hand.

Next up on Boxing Day is the visit of Clyde, the side who

supplied Rangers with their first away win in the Third Division

this season.

The Glasgow giants initially struggled to adapt to their new

surroundings in Scottish football’s bottom tier while on the road

and McCoist feels the victory at Broadwood at the end of the

October was the turning point of their campaign.

He said: “You could actually see, when we picked up the three

points against Clyde away from home, that the release valve had

been loosened.

“It was a monkey off the back, if you like, because we’d had

three draws and a defeat up until then. Our away performances and

results weren’t great.

“That result – and recent results away from home – would

indicate that there seems to be a greater degree of confidence and

belief that we can get victories away from home.

“I think that opening away victory against Clyde was very, very

important for us.”

Asked what he expects when Jim Duffy’s men come calling on

Wednesday, McCoist added: “Clyde have been absolutely fine.

“It was pleasing to get our first away victory of the season at

Clyde but they made it very difficult for us.

“Jim is a very good coach and Clyde, like all his teams, are

very well-organised and well-drilled.

“I don’t think there’s an awful lot between any of the teams in

the league. I do see one or two teams who are probably slightly

better but all the teams within the league are certainly more than

capable of taking points off each other.

“Clyde, again, will be very difficult opposition. At the same

time, I’m really hopeful that we can continue our fine home


“Our home form in the league has been very pleasing in terms of

the goals we are scoring and conceding so I would be really

hopeful, come Boxing Day, that form can continue.”