McCoist wants more of the same

Ally McCoist urged his players to prove that Rangers can compete

with top-flight teams, as Inverness prepare to visit Ibrox in the

League Cup.

Rangers beat the then Scottish Premier League leaders Motherwell

2-0 in the previous round and face another in-form SPL side in the

quarter-finals.

Terry Butcher’s side are the top scorers with 23 goals from 11

games and are on a seven-match unbeaten run.

Ibrox had an air of defiance about it when Motherwell became the

first SPL side to play Rangers since the newco club were denied

entry to the top flight, and forced to start again at the bottom of

the Scottish Football League, and McCoist is looking for his

players to produce a similar display against the Highlanders.

“I hope they feel there is a point to prove when anyone comes to

Ibrox,” he said.

“To be fair the majority of home performances have been

okay.

“The players are playing a team three leagues above them who

have been doing very, very well.

“It is a question for our players: can they compete against boys

from the top league who have been doing well?

“I’m of the belief that they can and hopefully they will, but

words are cheap and they have got to show that.”

McCoist added: “I would settle for the same edge and same

performance that the lads gave me the last time we played an SPL

team, which was obviously Motherwell.

“I think the fans will play a massive part as they have done for

all our games this season, but I felt the Motherwell game, the

atmosphere was almost like a European night.

“Added to the opportunity to go to Hampden, playing against

another SPL side, all those factors would hopefully indicate we

would have a level of performance that would see us through to the

next round.

“It will be extremely difficult and as hard, if not harder, than

the Motherwell game.

“I think the Motherwell boys probably didn’t really know what to

expect from an SFL3 team, albeit Rangers.

“The Inverness lads will have seen that performance and big

Terry will have had us watched, and they will know what to

expect.”

Rangers secured their first away win in the Third Division at

the fifth time of asking on Sunday with a 2-0 victory over Clyde,

and questions had been asked of the players’ application after

beating Motherwell but struggling in the league.

“Especially with a brand new team, the one thing you have to

strive for is consistency. I don’t think you are going to get it

straight away,” McCoist added.

“You look at the vast majority of teams who have a big turnover

in players, not all of them hit the ground running, they have good

performances and indifferent performances.

“We have been a bit like that, the Motherwell game has probably

been our best performance.

“We are doing okay and tomorrow night will tell us how far we

are behind or indeed can we match these teams on a regular basis.

So it’s a big game for us.”

The victory at Broadwood followed another milestone the previous

week, when Rangers went top of the Third Division for the first

time with a win over Queen’s Park.

And McCoist says securing a trip to Hampden for a semi-final

would be a welcome step.

“The last couple of weeks, getting to the top of the league and

our first away victory, have been very, very positive signs,” he

said.

“But they are small steps on the long road that we have.

“This would be another step. We have got miles to go. We’re in

SFL3 and going to have to get promoted out the leagues. That’s the

way it looks and that’s absolutely fine, that’s great.

“But if in the first season we could get an opportunity to go

back to Hampden on cup business – we will go on league business

which is bizarre but great – I think it would be a great step for

the supporters and indeed the players and everyone involved in the

club in the long road ahead.”

McCoist, who revealed French defender Sebastien Faure would see

a specialist over a groin problem, added: “The whole thing is a

learning curve for everybody. We are all experiencing something

that is completely new.

“There is no rulebook for what’s happening. But the rulebook at

this football club has always stated that you handle pressure and

win games of football and that hasn’t changed.

“Although we have got a completely and utterly new side, the

boys have to learn quickly what is expected, and the first thing

that is expected at this club as a player is to win games.

“To go back to Hampden in the cup, you have obviously won a

number of games, and that’s a good step.”