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McCoist relaxed over boardroom dramas

Although restricted in what he could say, Ally McCoist sought to reassure.

McCoist, seen here taking part in training, says he's much happier talking about football than off the field events. Picture: SNS
McCoist, seen here taking part in training, says he's much happier talking about football than off the field events. Picture: SNS

The Rangers manager has experienced more critical times in the past 12 months than the boardroom dramas of this week.

None the less, no one at the club will have been comfortable with details having leaked about the board asking the chairman, Malcolm Murray, to stand down, only for an amicable resolution to then be reached.

Bound by Stock Exchange rules, the manager could not discuss the situation directly, but did, however, emphasise that his own experience of the boardroom left him feeling positive for the future.

"I've been to a board meeting in the last three or four weeks and it was very positive and healthy," McCoist said. "As with any boardroom you would expect differences of opinion. But I can reassure everybody, Rangers fans certainly, that everybody to a man within that boardroom has the same object and that's moving Rangers forward.

"Things have calmed down [since administration 12 months ago]. The fact that I've come in here and the first question was about football in itself would tell you it is calming down a little bit.

"There will obviously be issues that come up and will have to be addressed, but I do believe there is more stability within the club than there has been in the last 12 months, longer than that, actually. That is obviously encouraging, but we don't want to get carried away because there is still an awful lot to do."

For now, from McCoist's point of view, that involves trying to secure the Irn-Bru Third Division title as quickly as possible. Rangers could be crowned champions before the end of March, but only if they maintain the sort of consistency that has eluded them at times this term. The mood has altered since Rangers lost so haplessly to Dundee United in the Scottish Cup, with the team having scored eight goals in their last two matches.

There was a desire not just to make amends for the display at Tannadice, but also to push towards claiming the championship with purpose and decisiveness.

That requires motivational nous from McCoist, though, since the 22-point lead over Queen's Park, who have two games in hand, could leave room for complacency.

"That's my job, to make sure that does not happen," McCoist said. "That is one of the bonuses of being at a club like this where the standards have to be as high and have to be maintained through every performance.

"Rightly, we are criticised. If we don't play well at the weekend and don't get a result no-one is going to say well, it's all right because they're 22 points clear."

McCoist's team today return to the scene of what he admits was one of their worst performances of the season, Berwick Rangers' Shielfield Park, where the Ibrox side recorded a 1-1 draw at the end of August.

The manager – who revealed a specialist has finally found the source of Lee McCulloch's ankle problems and the player could return before the end of the season – will send out a team that is suited to the occasion, and the condition of the pitch, rather than simply maintain consistency of selection.

"The last time we played at Berwick, we were hopeless," McCoist said. "That and the Stirling Albion [away] game were our two worst performances in the league, by a mile. So, we're due a performance down there."

"I have spoken to one or two managers and the best way to describe the playing surface would be a playing surface in February. It isn't as ideal as it would be at the start of the season and it will be a battle. I wouldn't imagine there will be a lot of football played in the middle of the park. I have mentioned to the boys what to expect and, hopefully, they will be ready for it. The surface will definitely have a bearing on team selection and probably on how we play the game."

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