Ally McCoist believes that some of the criticism of Rangers this season has come from the “ignorant” and “misguided” – including some who used to play for the club.
The Ibrox side re-emerged as an Irn-Bru Third Division club last summer following administration then liquidation and are on course to win the title.
However, performances have been patchy and the Rangers manager and his players came under fire after last week’s 2-1 home defeat to Annan Athletic.
Ian McCall, the former Rangers player and Dundee United, Queen of the South and Partick manager has questioned the quality of player at Ibrox, in his role as a pundit.
McCoist did not name names at his press conference ahead of today’s trip to Elgin in the league and stressed that everyone was “entitled to their opinion”.
However, he said: “It’s very easy to have an opinion without full knowledge of what’s going on and that’s the beauty of football. Everybody has differing opinions, that’s why it is easier for me to take criticism because I am very well aware of the difficulties everybody is facing at the club.
“There have been comments from one or two ex-Rangers players who indeed, have coached and managed at a level, which are pretty ignorant because they don’t know the full story and they are a little bit misguided.
“Disappointed? Yes, I am probably disappointed [about the comments] but it certainly doesn’t make me alter my focus or change any opinion of where we want to be and how difficult it is going to be to get there because that’s my job and I firmly believe I will get us back to the top.”
The former Rangers striker acknowledged the criticism midfielder Kyle Hutton received from some supporters following the Annan defeat after tweeting that he was going home to watch television after training. “That’s life,” he said. “Again it’s differing opinions. We have a fitness department and we work our boys really, really hard.
“I have been on both sides of the fence, I can understand people saying they should be doing this and doing that. Particularly at this stage of the season, it is, hopefully, getting a team that is right physically and mentally for the 90 minutes. That’s what we think we are doing, that’s what we believe we are doing and will continue to do.”
McCoist noted that Scottish Football League chief executive David Longmuir had also taken stick this week after resurrecting the idea of Rangers and Celtic “colt” teams entering the SFL, amid the wider debate on league reconstruction.
“I think the criticism is very harsh,” said McCoist. “I think he is not doing his job if he doesn’t bring options and possibilities so I would have to say the criticism of him for bringing it up would be wrong.”
Of the colts proposal, he added: “I would welcome it yes. There is healthy discussion required to take it forward if it is going to happen but I would certainly welcome the idea.”