ALLY McCoist believes his decision to drop Kris Boyd to the bench could ultimately help the striker rediscover his prolific best form for Rangers.
Boyd appeared as a substitute yesterday and scored the second goal in Rangers’ 3-0 Scottish Cup fourth-round victory over his former club Kilmarnock at Ibrox.
The 31-year-old has struggled to recapture past glories so far on his return to Rangers this season. He has scored just two league goals, although his strike against Killie was his seventh in cup competitions.
It was the second successive fixture which Boyd started among the substitutes, having been initially dropped for the 2-0 Championship defeat to Hearts at Tynecastle the previous week, as McCoist preferred Jon Daly and Kenny Miller as his strike pairing.
“It’s strange how football works,” said McCoist. “Boydy was only on the park a minute and a half against the team he scored 22 goals for last season before he scored against them. Sometimes these things are meant to be.
“You are always tempted to start him in your team. He is capable of scoring goals against anybody. It would be crazy of me to say you are not tempted to play him. But we just felt that him coming on a little bit fresher, having taken him out of it again, might be what he needs. He might benefit from it.
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“As he’s said himself, the team is far and away the the most important thing. From Boydy’s point of view, introducing him later on in the game might help him.
“I hope he can kick on from that today. It was a good finish from him and you could feel everyone’s relief and delight for him.
“We felt big Jon was terrific leading the line for us last week and so we decided not to change it. I thought him and Kenny again worked really well for the hour they were on against Kilmarnock. It’s fortunate that we can bring the liveliness of Nicky Clark on to the park as well as the goalscoring threat of Boydy.
“The way it turned out, Jon and Kenny were working the defenders really hard. So when Boydy comes on later, maybe the defenders are just not so sharp as they were at the start of the game. Putting on the pace of Nicky and goal threat of Boydy worked out well.”
McCoist was understandably satisfied with Rangers’ third cup win over Premiership opposition this season. Nicky Law scored twice, either side of Boyd’s goal, to produce a much-needed positive response to the loss at Tynecastle.
“The criticism we received goes with the territory,” said McCoist. “Last week was a disappointing result for us but we were not panicking by any stretch of the imagination.
“We didn’t do anything in the game against Hearts, apart from a couple of pieces of lack of discipline, that really worried us. We felt that if we played with a level of intensity and quality today, we could win the game and that’s how it worked out.
“The main objective was to be in the hat for the next round and it was a thoroughly deserved win. It was a great performance, we were very solid for the vast majority of the game. We always looked a threat and I thought the quality in a couple of the finishes were excellent.
“It was really just what the doctor ordered after the disappointment of losing last week.
“I’d settle for that standard throughout the team and there were some very good individual performances within that. But I’d settle for that kind of team performance week in, week out.”
Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnston was left deeply dismayed by his team’s insipid display which condemned them to a fifth consecutive defeat in what is a concerning run of form for the Rugby Park side. “It was a Scottish Cup tie but we didn’t play to our potential today,” said Johnston. “We never closed them down quickly enough, we let them get behind the ball, we passed the ball well but without actually creating any chances, it was all just square or backwards passes.
“We’ve got to be a lot more positive. It’s worrying, especially when we’re losing goals in the manner we are just now.
“It’s a real team performance you need to win at Ibrox and we didn’t get that.
“We’ve got to be harder to beat. We’re losing the first goal and seem to be chasing games, we’ve got to stay in games, we can’t afford to open up and be easy to counter on.
“We’ve got to work harder as a team. We didn’t look as much of a threat as we have in previous matches. We didn’t show pace going forward and when we got in the final third usually the final pass or cross wasn’t good enough.”
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