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Good review needed to placate critics and make a play for Boyd

THE most significant action at Ibrox this evening will likely take place away from the pitch.

Cammy Bell, pictured in training, says Kris Boyd would be a 'terrific addition' to Rangers. Picture: Nick Ponty
Cammy Bell, pictured in training, says Kris Boyd would be a 'terrific addition' to Rangers. Picture: Nick Ponty

Rangers are down to the third-last hurdle in their quest to go through their SPFL League 1 campaign undefeated, Ayr United the latest side to attempt to finally inflict a loss upon their record and boost their own play-off aspirations in the process. Of greater consequence for Rangers, however, may be the meeting planned prior to kick-off between manager Ally McCoist and chief executive Graham Wallace.

Wallace is thought to have now concluded his 120-day review of the business with the results - or at least a flavour of them - to be made public on Friday. McCoist, though, expects to be given a preview over the coming days, in particular the sections that relate to the playing squad and the scope, or otherwise, for him to upgrade it during the close season.

McCoist is a man anxious to get going. The rumour that Kris Boyd is one of the players he is eager to recruit has been joined by further speculation that Hearts, probably their biggest threat in next season's SPFL Championship, may also fancy signing the Kilmarnock forward. McCoist did not address either of those matters directly but admitted his hands were currently tied when it came to forward planning.

"Kris is a player that's caught everybody's eye again this season, scoring the amount of goals he has for Kilmarnock and getting voted into the top four in the player of the year awards," he said. "But there is no point me worrying about something I can't have an effect on. I can't do anything about anything at the moment. I just have to wait until I get the thumbs up or down and when that happens we can start to get to work on it. We run the risk of clubs planning for next season and moving in, getting their work done early.

"So that's something we'll have to live with. Time is of the essence, absolutely. We're well down the road with our pre-season stuff but the biggest step is the players and sorting the squad. I'll see Graham on Tuesday before the game and then I'll probably sit down with him on Wednesday and Thursday as well.

"He is aware [of time constraints]. Everybody is aware. In the grander scheme of things, in the whole situation involving the club, our part of the business is very important and important to the fans. But Graham has the whole club to look after and that is the most important thing."

Cammy Bell, the Rangers goalkeeper, hopes Boyd is on his way back to Rangers. The pair were at Kilmarnock last season and Bell feels Boyd would be a worthwhile addition to the squad. "His goalscoring record speaks for itself, no matter what level he's been at or whatever country he's been in," he said. "Since he's been back at Kilmarnock, he's been fantastic and I hope his goals there can keep the club up this season.

"I worked with him last season. When he came back to Rugby Park, he was hungry again and you could see he really wanted push on and play more games. He'd gone on his travels and not played as much as he'd have liked. But he's a great striker, a great goalscorer and he'd be a terrific addition. Whether it happens or not, we'll have to wait and see."

The prospect of going through the league campaign unbeaten is still a motivating factor for Bell and his Rangers team-mates. It is why, McCoist believes, the standard of their performances in the league haven't dropped despite the title being secured a month ago.

"We've got three games to go and I still think it would be an achievement to go through the season undefeated," added the manager. "It's up for everyone else to argue and debate what level of achievement - but it's definitely an achievement. People keep asking if it's difficult to keep motivating players once the league is won. There's no doubt about it, being unbeaten in the league has helped."

McCoist has not struggled to attract Premiership-calibre players for the journey through the lower leagues but hoped being in the second tier would make the club more appealing to signing targets.

"You are one step away from the top flight. You could attract players because there is a better quality of opposition and potentially, hopefully, we are one season away from getting back to the top flight."

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