McCoist closes in on duo

The Light Blues boss made his first signing since the club was

consigned to liquidation in the summer, with the arrival of former

Hearts midfielder Ian Black on Saturday. With a 12-month transfer

embargo set to come into effect on September 1 – and several of his

first team regulars having already refused to transfer their

contracts to the newco – McCoist faces a race against time to build

a squad. However, despite losing their place in the Scottish

Premier League, McCoist believes Rangers’ fans still deserve to see

top quality players in a light blue jersey. Speaking after Sunday’s

2-1 extra-time win over Brechin in the Ramsdens Cup, the Ibrox boss

said: “I believe you get the best you can. “The players we are

attempting to target are players that our fans deserve to see. At

the same time, it’s getting the blend right as well. “The first

thing we have to do is win the league but it would be nice to do it

with style and give the fans what they want to see. “I believe

that’s good young talent, coming in with talented players.” McCoist

is hoping to add former Kilmarnock player Dean Shiels and Greek

midfielder Pantelis Kafes to his pool over the coming days. He

said: “It’s not over the line yet but I know in both cases there is

certainly a deal to be done there. “I’ve spoken to both players.

They seem keen and we are very keen too so we’d be hopeful

something could be done.” McCoist acknowledged the need for him to

work quickly in the current transfer window. He added: “We need to

build a squad for the next 18 months to two years and we’ve got to

do that in the next four weeks. “It’s important for me to tell you

that we are really pleased with the younger boys and I’m genuinely

excited about giving an opportunity to some of the younger guys.

“Some of the money we have got off the wage bill, I would be

hopeful of getting some of that back to spend. “I’ll sit down over

the next couple of days with Charles Green and discuss players and

I would be very keen to bring a few in. “The next three or four

weeks are massively important in terms of the next two years and

indeed the longer-term future as well.” Americans Alejandro Bedoya

and Maurice Edu were both absent from the squad that made the trip

to Glebe Park. McCoist said: “Bedoya said on Friday there was an

opportunity for him to go to Helsingborg, I think it was. “I tried

to talk him out of it but it looks to have been unsuccessful.

“Maurice Edu had a groin strain and didn’t train yesterday and

couldn’t travel.” Although players like Carlos Bocanegra and Dorin

Goian featured in the cup tie, McCoist admits there could be

further exits. He added: “You would have to ask them. I’m hopeful

but I’m realistic enough to know there is an opportunity for one or

two to dive out of the window. I hope that won’t be the case but

I’m not daft.” Andy Little, who re-signed for Rangers on Saturday,

opened the scoring against Brechin after just four minutes but the

home side levelled through Andy Jackson to force the tie into

extra-time, before Lee McCulloch grabbed the winner. McCoist said:

“Normally we play six pre-season friendlies and we’ve not really

had anything so it’s a good result for us and a great start.

“That’s all we ever wanted, just an opportunity to get back playing

football. We were a bit late in the day in finding out [if the game

would go ahead] but we are all pleased. “The staff, all the players

and the fans have been fantastic. That’s all we wanted, an

opportunity to play. We got that today and we are thankful for

that.” Brechin boss Jim Weir expects Rangers to launch a successful

assault on the lower divisions. He said: “I’ve got to be proud of

my players. “There is no doubt the Rangers team is still packed

full of quality, although there is no doubt they have been hampered

by a lot of players leaving. “I fully expect them to progress

through the leagues – it’s not going to be easy, they will know

that. “They’ll go to tough away grounds but I think their quality

will come through.”