Annan Athletic v Rangers reaction

BY foxsports • September 16, 2012

Ally McCoist has told Rangers they must match the urgency of their Irn-Bru Third Division opponents on their travels after a 0-0 draw at Annan.

Rangers were held to a goalless draw in front of a record 2,517 crowd at Galabank following previous stalemates at Peterhead and Berwick.

McCoist stressed his respect for their Scottish Football League opponents and pointed out that there were four shocks in the Scottish Communities League Cup second round, when Ross County, Hibernian, Kilmarnock and Dundee lost to lower-league opponents.

But he admitted his side did not start with sufficient vigour and lacked creativity throughout.

McCoist, who saw David Templeton carried off with an ankle injury early in the game, said: "You would expect being the full-time side the longer the game goes on we get more possession and hopefully dictate.

"That was the case but we're certainly not starting nearly well enough.

"As you would expect the opposition are well up for it because this is the biggest game of some of their lives.

"There was some solid defending, some fantastic saves and boys throwing their bodies on the line.

"But we certainly have to start games a lot, lot better. We have to create more urgency in the first half of games."

Rangers had several half-chances but failed to consistently create clear-cut opportunities and home keeper Alex Mitchell produced a stunning last-minute stop to deny Lee McCulloch.

Annan had arguably the best chance of the game when Jack Steele fired wide from 15 yards before being pushed back in the final quarter, but still Rangers laboured to break them down.

McCoist, whose team sit fourth in the Third Division, added: "It doesn't matter where you go, there is an expectation to give your level best and get results.

"The league we're in, there is an expectancy from everybody that you're going to win the vast majority of your games.

"The one thing we have always said and will continue to do, we will show the league and the teams within the league the utmost respect.

"I was just saying to the lads in the dressing room, from our point of view the passing and the penetration wasn't good enough.

"But if you look back 10 days ago there were four SFL teams knocked four SPL teams out the League Cup.

"The teams within the league deserve respect and they'll get that from us, as disappointed as we are."

Templeton appeared to go over on his ankle on the artificial surface.

"He has gone to hospital," McCoist said. "It doesn't look good.

"The ankle was completely swollen up after two or three minutes.

"He is going for an X-ray and a scan."

Annan manager Harry Cairney hailed his players for keeping their discipline.

"It's fantastic, we have never had Rangers here competitively so to get them down and to get a draw, we are really chuffed," he said.

"You fear at some point in their away games they are going to give somebody a bit of a doing and we were just hoping it wouldn't be us.

"Obviously since Rangers dropped into the Third Division, it's the game our players and fans have been looking forward to.

"But the players had to play the game. We had a couple of weeks to prepare and I thought the guys got the shape of the team really well and restricted Rangers to few chances."