ALLY McCoist believes his current crop of players are under as much pressure to deliver success as any Rangers team in recent history.
Rangers players of the past were tasked with ensuring the club remained one of the driving forces in Scottish football by consistently winning championships and collecting silverware. In contrast, the class of 2012 find themselves with a rebuilding job as Rangers aim to battle their way back to the top and recover from the financial turmoil of administration and liquidation.
The objectives may be very different but, as far as McCoist is concerned, the demands for results are the same and the job facing his players now is just as important as it was in better times for the club. He said: “I’ve said it before and I make no apology for saying it again, we have to get out of the division – that will be progress for us this year. There is as much pressure on this Rangers team, and the individuals within the team, as there has been on any Rangers team in recent history. That’s just a fact. It’s not an excuse. We all have to handle it. The players have to handle it and the coaches have to handle it too.
“Possibly, in the last week or so, there has been a more realistic approach to where the team is at the moment.”
Rangers have been inconsistent in the Third Division so far this season and were dealt a fresh blow midweek when they were dumped from the Scottish Communities League Cup by Inverness. McCoist added: “It’s a new team, it’s a completely new defence and it will take a bit of time. That said, this is one of the clubs where you don’t get a lot of time.
“Hundreds of great football players have come to this place and not hit the ground running and it’s taken them a little bit of time to get going. I include myself, I didn’t exactly hit the ground running when I first came here, Mark Hateley would be another one. But you have to find out and learn quickly and I’m just hopeful our boys who have come into the club will find out and will learn quickly.”
Despite acknowledging that his players need time to adapt to their surroundings, McCoist will not ask fans for patience – just their continued support.
He said: “I know the passion and the expectancy levels at this club from within the support. The fans have been quite unbelievable in their support for the team this year. They have arguably been the biggest and best story for the club in recent years. So I wouldn’t ask the fans for anything other than the continued support that they have given us. It would be very unfair of me to do anything else.”
Next up for Rangers is the visit of high-flying Second Division side Alloa in the third round of the William Hill Scottish Cup today. McCoist said: “It’s an extremely dangerous game. It’s a game where, if we win, we probably won’t get too many pats on the back and, if we lose, we will come in for a fair bit of stick.”