CHRISTIAN Dailly mounted a staunch defence of Ally McCoist yesterday and dismissed suggestions that the Rangers manager should be sacked in the event of the Ibrox club losing their Scottish Cup semi-final at home to Dundee United on Saturday.
Dailly, who won the Scottish Cup with both clubs, also called into question the football knowledge of the Rangers board.
Supporters’ websites have featured calls for McCoist to be removed since Sunday’s Ramsdens Cup final defeat by Raith Rovers. However, Dailly, who played alongside McCoist for Scotland and worked under him when he was Walter Smith’s assistant, believes that he is the right man to take Rangers forward.
“I don’t think it should even be an issue,” Dailly said. “Who else are you going to bring in?
“What he’s had to go through and what he’s done with them is brilliant. They are trying to get up the leagues and he’s doing that. They are getting there. It’s going to take a long time to rebuild.
“He’s 24-7. I rang him at 2pm on a Friday a week or so ago. One of my close friends is head of performance at [Welsh rugby club] Scarlets and he said they were coming to Glasgow and couldn’t get a training pitch. He asked if there was anything I could do. I rang Coisty and left a message: two minutes later he rang back and said, ‘Christian, no problem, give me the guy’s number’ and he sorted it all out.
“When Scarlets reached Murray Park, Coisty was there to meet them. That’s what you’ve got. Now that’s unusual but that is him. He would do anything to make sure people are right and that his club’s right.
“That’s what I took from him when I was there. It means so much to him, and who else could you get in that it would mean that much to? It’s easy to forget, and that’s why it shouldn’t even be an issue.”
Dailly, who studied for a sports science degree and now coaches Chelmsford Athletic Club, won his first Scottish Cup with Dundee United, beating Rangers in the final 20 years ago.
He emulated that with the Glasgow club in 2008 and 2009 and, on Saturday, will be at Ibrox to provide analysis for Sky when the sides meet in the first semi-final of this campaign.
He grew up supporting United, believes that they will beat the League 1 champions, but insists it would be ridiculous of Rangers to dismiss McCoist should that come to pass.
Dailly, who was speaking at an event to preview the TSB Scotland schoolboys’ clash with England at Ewood Park on Friday, hopes that McCoist’s fate will not be decided by non-football people in the Ibrox boardroom.
“The job is so difficult,” he said. “There’ll be people involved upstairs at Ibrox who have no idea what it’s like, 100 per cent. That’s the same at every club. You’ve got chairmen sacking managers left, right and centre and – a lot of the time – they’ve not a clue what it takes to do the job.
“I don’t know about Rangers’ situation specifically but, in general, one of the reasons I’ve not gone into management is because my career would then be dictated by someone who has not a clue about football.
“Why would I do that? I’ll make sure when – and if – I do that I’m good enough at what I do to dictate what I’m doing, and not allow someone who doesn’t understand the game to tell me what to do.
“You get over that by being so good you’re unsackable. But getting to that stage can be difficult. It can take you three to four years to build a club from the bottom up and who’s going to get the chance to do that?
“Okay, it’s a great job in a way, but having to deal with the people upstairs? However, managers can’t come out and say that because they’ve got a job [to protect].”
So, even though he expects United to hand McCoist the tenth cup defeat of his three seasons in charge of Rangers, he argues it would be wrong to remove him.
“I do think United will win and, possibly, Aberdeen [against St Johnstone] as well,” he said.