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
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
“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.”