ALLY McCOIST has brushed off the recent criticism of him and his players.

A section of the Rangers support have expressed their dissatisfaction with the team's performance in the Petrofac Training Cup tie against Hibernian and then the subsequent defeat by Hearts in the opening game of the SPFL Cham­pionship campaign. McCoist was aware of the air of discontent but revealed that, by taking the Rudyard Kipling approach to both triumph and adversity, he has been able to maintain a sense of perspective.

"Far better managers than me have had stick, it's part of being a football supporter," said McCoist. "You have to accept it, even though you might not always agree with it. It makes you stronger and more determined to get the job done. We're extremely disappointed but we don't go crazy when we win and we don't get too down when things don't go our way. If you can treat victories and defeats with a similar level of sanity then you've got a chance."

Loading article content

After two fairly straightforward seasons in the Third Division and League 1 as they try to work their way through the lower leagues, Rangers face a much tougher proposition this year in a division comprised mainly of full-time teams. McCoist believes the fans are aware of the scale of the challenge as Rangers look to finish the season as champions.

"I'm not saying they [the fans] have to be more patient because the one thing they've been is remarkable," he added. "I wouldn't ask them to be anything other than as supportive as they've been. The teams we're playing . . . the majority of them are full-time, they're better quality than the teams we've been playing. That would indicate we're not going to win the league by 39 points.

"The main objective is that we go into the top division at the first time of asking as champions. It's a long journey, this season, it's going to be a bumpy ride. We had a bumpy ride on Sunday, we just need to smooth things over and get moving again."