Rangers boss Ally McCoist says the Ibrox side owe it to the 10 staff made redundant at the club this week to beat Hearts on Saturday.

The Light Blues travel to Tynecastle for a crucial match which McCoist claims is their biggest since being liquidated in the summer of 2012, as the two Scottish Championship title rivals go head to head.

But the manager admits a cloud has hung over the League One champions since it was reported on Wednesday that around 10 employees had left the club following job cuts.

The cost-cutting measures have been swiftly implemented in the days following Mike Ashley's Ibrox power grab.

While the first-team squad and McCoist's coaching set-up were unaffected, several members of the club's administrative and media departments have now departed - with rumours suggesting more could follow.

McCoist knows he has got an important game to win in Gorgie this weekend, but urged his players to think about their former behind-the-scenes colleagues when they take on the Jambos.

"We are 100 per cent focused on the job tomorrow," he said. "We are all very, very sorry that we have lost some good people from the club who have sadly lost their jobs.

"We wish them well because these people have given the club some fantastic service and loyalty.

"We owe it to them and the supporters to concentrate our focus on the things we can have a bearing on and that is the game tomorrow."

Rangers are faced with the stark reality that losing to Robbie Neilson's unbeaten capital outfit would leave them nine points behind in the title race and facing a huge battle to claim automatic promotion back to the top flight.

But Gers boss McCoist insists defeat is an option not worth thinking about.

He said: "It's as important and as competitive a league fixture as we have played post-administration.

"We have had some pretty hard challenges already this year with the cup games against Inverness and St Johnstone, and handled them okay.

"We deserved to win both games but this is another big one, because Hearts probably wouldn't look out of place in the top flight at this moment in time.

"But we are not contemplating losing at all. We are 100 per cent focused on getting a victory. Hearts have started the season well but we believe that if we play at all to our capabilities then we have a great opportunity of winning the game."

Former Hearts defender Gary Naysmith - now boss of East Fife - reckons a victory for Hearts will all but confirm the championship for Neilson's men.

But McCoist shot down any suggestion that the Tynecastle clash was do-or-die for the Ibrox side.

He said: "I think we all know that is nothing like the case. We are not even halfway through the season.

"It would be a significant lead but we are concentrating all our thoughts on that lead being down to three points tomorrow, rather than nine."

Meanwhile, McCoist hopes to have a near fully-fit squad for Saturday's trip to face Scottish Championship title rivals Hearts at Tynecastle this weekend.

Lee Wallace is fit again after shaking off the niggle which kept him out of the 1-1 draw with Alloa last weekend, while Fraser Aird returns after four games out with a thigh tear.

Stevie Smith suffered a calf strain against the Wasps but is fit for the crucial Gorgie clash, meaning long-term shoulder casualty Cammy Bell is the only man missing out.

Provisional squad: Simonsen, Wallace, Mohsni, McGregor, Shiels, McCulloch, Macleod, Clark, Law, Black, Templeton, Peralta, Boyd, Smith, Robinson, Faure, Miller, Crawford, Daly, Foster, Aird Hardie.