Rangers boss Ally McCoist believes football fans around Scotland would be angry if Hearts succeeded with their bid to have a transfer embargo lifted.

The administration-hit Jambos claim the signing ban is taking its toll on a youthful and sparse squad, who are odds-on for relegation after they were handed a 15-point penalty.

Rangers were also hit with a transfer embargo following financial turmoil of their own and McCoist expressed sympathy for the plight of Hearts.

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But he feels Light Blues fans, as well as those who support clubs near the bottom of the Scottish Premiership table, would be unhappy if any leniency was shown by football bosses.

McCoist said: "I've got an unbelievable amount of sympathy for Hearts because we were in the same boat.

"I've seen Hearts a couple of times this season and their young boys have done them proud.

"It's not for me to say what should and shouldn't be done but I can tell you that I do have sympathy for Gary Locke and his staff."

Asked if Gers fans would be unhappy if the ban was lifted, McCoist added: "I think they probably would be but not just Rangers fans, I think probably a lot of football fans around the country.

"Probably St Mirren fans, Ross County fans, teams like that - their fans would probably be more upset than anybody."

Meanwhile, McCoist confirmed several approaches have been made by clubs keen to take Dean Shiels on loan.

The attacking midfielder has been blighted by injury and has been unable to force his way back into the manager's plans.

McCoist said: "I've spoken to two or three clubs, who have contacted me regarding Dean.

"I've had a chat with Dean and told him I'm not really keen on anyone going anywhere, as most managers would say.

"But I have to be honest with all my players and if there are any clubs in for them I will tell the players that.

"I will also tell them that I'm not keen at all on losing any players. That's where we are at the moment.

"I won't name the clubs as that would be wrong of me but there has been contact regarding Dean.

"The really pleasing thing about Dean is that he has indicated a desire to get back in the team and get his place back.

"From my point of view, that's exactly what I would want to hear."

Chief executive Graham Wallace warned at last month's annual general meeting that cost-cutting would have to take place at the Glasgow giants.

McCoist has not yet been told he has to sell in January but expects a clearer idea of the situation when he meets with Wallace early next week.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's visit of East Fife, McCoist said: "We've had primary discussions at great length.

"We met on Tuesday for a good few hours and we spoke on the phone on Wednesday and Thursday.

"Nothing has been set in stone and there have been no concrete decisions made yet. The discussions are ongoing.

"Graham has a board meeting today and him and I will sit down early next week and we will take the next steps on the future of the football club.

"He has gone on record at the AGM as saying that there will be cuts within the club.

"But he hasn't gone into specifics in terms of the football department or any individuals, such as players having to be sold or not renewing contracts. That hasn't been the case at all.

"Hopefully things will be a little bit clearer next week.

"They are very important discussions and not discussions you would want to rush into or make any decisions without giving a lot of thought to.

"I've not been told I have to sell players.

"One thing I can say, I know Graham is aware of the importance of keeping the squad together, who have been nothing short of fantastic this season."