International clearance papers were not transferred from the Gabon FA to the Scottish Football Association before the deadline of 5pm last night. Cousin is due to land in Edinburgh this morning after travelling from Africa via Germany, and is then due to join up with the Rangers squad at their hotel.
The 35-year-old has signed a contract worth £7500-a-week and lasting for the rest of the season. He will train with the rest of manager Ally McCoist's squad for the first time at Murray Park on Monday, returning to the club he left in September 2008. The inability to use Cousin today means McCoist must again pick David Healy, Sone Aluko, Salim Kerkar or Andrew Little as his attack as Rangers try to reduce Celtic's four-point lead in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League. Celtic face Inverness Caledonian Thistle later in the day.
Rangers continue to limp along as a beleaguered club, anxious about its financial future, but Cousin's arrival would be a boost for a group of players badly in need of one. McCoist's awareness of the need to protect their morale was evident during the week when he allowed his squad to go on a ten-pin bowling night.
"I wouldn't say we felt it was necessary, we had it planned for a wee while, but it was just to let the boys go away together in another environment," explained the Rangers manager. "It was to do something different and have a laugh, try and relax them a little bit. If training since then is anything to go by then there looks to have been a benefit from it, because they have been in good form."
Rangers supporters do not have the privilege of watching training and nothing about their most recent sighting of the team was remotely good. What was revealing about Dundee United's 2-0 win at Ibrox on Sunday was the fearlessness in United's play as they dumped Rangers out of the William Hill Scottish Cup. They were respectful and they worked hard, but there was an aggression and forcefulness about their attitude which suggested they knew Rangers were vulnerable. It is an approach that McCoist suspects other clubs will adopt because of the negativity around Rangers.
"I think that's the case," said McCoist. "I take the point on board and United were a very good example of that last week. But in my eyes it's more about what we do. I still feel we certainly have good enough players to go and win games.
"Dundee United started the game very well on Sunday, they pressed us and looked comfortable on the ball. But I can't really look to other teams. Obviously you watch their games and look at their tactics but it's more about what we do, how we approach it and how we take the game to the opposition."
Rangers have won a game at East End Park this season, which is more than Dunfermline can claim. The Fife side will make their 15th attempt to beat someone at home this season. Steven Naismith, Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu scored when Rangers won 4-0 there in September. Dunfermline had tightened up by the time they came to Ibrox in December, losing only 2-1, but Jim McIntyre's team remain bottom of the league.
"I know Jim well," said McCoist. "There is nothing worse than an animal who is fighting for survival. Having been at their game in midweek that's exactly what Jim's team were like."
Kyle Hutton is ineligible for today's match under the terms of his loan deal from Rangers to Dunfermline, but no such impediment applies to Jordan McMillan who made the same move on a permanent basis. The transfer ended an eight-year association with Rangers in which McMillan was never more than a peripheral figure.
"I think Jordan was a little bit unlucky at Rangers," said McCoist. "He had one or two injuries which kept him out at times. He came in a few times this season and I thought he did very well, especially at Motherwell and in one or two friendlies. He was at Rangers for eight years and we just thought it was maybe time for him to go and get a regular game somewhere. Hopefully he will get the opportunity to do that."