ALLOA manager Paul Hartley believes his players can add to Rangers’ cup woes under Ally McCoist when they travel to Ibrox next month.
Former Celtic midfielder Hartley’s team landed the plum tie in yesterday’s William Hill Scottish Cup third-round draw and will head to Govan on 3 November. But while the financial windfall from the match will be a significant boost to the Recreation Park club, Hartley is targeting a positive approach and outcome on the day.
McCoist scored a hat-trick for Rangers in a 6-0 win at Ibrox in 1994 on the last occasion they faced Alloa in the Scottish Cup. But they have struggled in cup competitions since McCoist became manager, their most recent disappointment coming last month when they were knocked out the Ramsdens Cup at home to Queen of the South.
“The pressure is off us and we will try to cause an upset,” said Hartley. “It has been done before and can be done again. There is no point going to Ibrox to sit back and invite the pressure on you. We will attack them and see where it takes us. Rangers are massive favourites but you have seen they have struggled a bit this season, especially away from home. You never know, there may be a surprise and we could get a result.
“Lots of things would need to go in our favour and we would need to play well. We will need a lot of luck and for them to have an off day. But it is a one-off and we will have a go. We are not going to sit back, we will go and try to win the game.”
Rangers were again unconvincing at the weekend when they scraped past Highland League champions Forres Mechanics at Mosset Park in the second round. The club’s former striker Derek Johnstone, who helped make the draw at Hamilton racecourse yesterday, believes McCoist’s senior players need to adopt a change in attitude for the rest of the season.
“That’s what’s the matter with some of the Rangers players, they don’t realise they’re in the Third Division now,” said Johnstone. “The sooner they realise that, the better. At home it’s fine, because it’s just like a normal game with 45,000 people there. But when they’re driving up to these wee
grounds on the bus, and they’ve probably got bigger toilets in their own houses than the dressing rooms at these away games, they’re not getting themselves up for these games.”
Draw in full:
Buckie Thistle/Annan Athletic v Turriff United
Dumbarton v East Stirlingshire
Airdrie United v Raith Rovers
Stranraer v Queen’s Park
Partick Thistle v Cove Rangers
Forfar Athletic v Clyde/Nairn County
Albion Rovers v Greenock Morton
Cowdenbeath v Selkirk/Vale of Leithen
Edinburgh City v Queen of the South
Stirling Albion v Deveronvale
Inverurie Loco Works v Arbroath
Ayr United v Clachnacuddin
Stenhousemuir v Berwick Rangers
Brechin City v Bonnyrigg Rose
Rangers v Alloa Athletic
Elgin City v East Fife
Ties to be played 3 November