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McCoist revels in red-card mind games with new Hearts manager

Ally McCoist, the Rangers manager, has laughed off comments made by his Hearts counterpart, Robbie Neilson, ahead of their SPFL Championship meeting at Ibrox on Sunday.

Neilson, who was appointed head coach at Tynecastle in the summer, revealed this week his side had been training with 10 men to prepare for their league opener.

The capital club have had a player ordered off on three of their previous six visits to Ibrox - Eggert Jonsson twice and Christian Nade once.

However, McCoist dismissed the remarks as "mind games" in the build-up to a game between two of the favourites to win the second tier title this season.

"If there's anybody who knows about getting red cards it's Robbie," he quipped. "He is better qualified than most to comment. "Is it mind games? Absolutely. I did have a chuckle at Robbie's comments. He's in the management door 30 seconds and he's playing mind games already."

McCoist added: "Maybe he [Neilson] believes it, but I would have thought it was a tongue in cheek remark. If we can't have a smile then we are all toiling."

Alan Stubbs, the Hibs manager, was aggrieved at the red card Danny Handling received in the Petrofac Training Cup first round match at Ibrox on Tuesday night. But after reviewing the challenge on David Templeton, McCoist is adamant the referee got the decision correct in a game that his side won 2-1 after extra-time.

"It is a red card," he said. "I agreed with Stubbsy at the time. I wasn't sure. I thought it was a card and a half at the time. But having watched it again, I think he does come in with the scissors. I don't think there was any real malice. The fact Hibs aren't appealing maybe indicates how they feel."

Meanwhile, McCoist has revealed that Arnold Peralta, who had been stranded in Paris trying to obtain a visa, arrived back in Glasgow on Tuesday night. There were question marks over whether the Honduran internationalist, who was quoted last season as saying he would leave Rangers in the summer, would return. McCoist said: "He's available and his fitness is absolutely fine. But he's doing some extra training and will come into the reckoning soon."

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