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
Rangers beat the then Scottish Premier League leaders Motherwell
2-0 in the previous round and face another in-form SPL side in the
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
“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
“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
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
“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.”