Ally McCoist: ‘No shame in Third Division defeat’
ALLY McCoist insists he will never feel ashamed of his Rangers side losing a Third Division fixture as he attempts to plot the club’s route back to the top flight.
McCoist was stung by criticism of his immediate post-match reaction to Rangers’ first defeat in the fourth tier against Stirling Albion earlier this month when he said he was not embarrassed by the result.
Rangers are still seeking their first away league win since the financial implosion which led to their demotion. McCoist is confident it will come this Sunday in front of the live Sky Sports cameras when Rangers face Clyde in a league fixture for the first time since 1975.
But he believes there is a growing appreciation among his club’s support that his team are in no position to make any assumptions about any match they play in their new environment. “I got a bit of stick for saying I wasn’t embarrassed after the Stirling Albion game and I’ll go on record again as saying I absolutely wasn’t embarrassed,” said McCoist.
“If I’d said that I was embarrassed after the Stirling Albion game, what a show of disrespect that would have been to them. That’s the one thing we’ll never do as a club. We will show everybody in the division the utmost respect. I was as disappointed and angry as I’ve ever been after any game, but what right would I have to be embarrassed?
“Generally, managers and coaches within SFL3 knew it wouldn’t be a walk in the park for Rangers this season. And I do see a better, dare I say it, acceptance among our supporters of what has happened and where we are, generally speaking. I think there was, wrongly in my opinion, an automatic opinion by probably the majority of people that Rangers should win every game in SFL3. I knew that wasn’t the case.
“It’s no surprise that it has been proved to me. But I think people are now taking a wee step back and looking at the much bigger picture. I do not in any way want to make it sound like an excuse, but the facts of the matter are that we lost 28 players and had to bring in some young lads. These are facts and I do feel there is a better acceptance of now. That said, we still have to win the league and get promoted.
“I do feel we can get that first away league win on Sunday. It’s about time we started getting victories away from home. I’m hoping the fact we went to the top of the league at the weekend might have an effect, so we can kick on with a bit of confidence. It should be a lift and if we can win on Sunday, it would lift another wee mental block as well.”
McCoist was speaking at a mist-shrouded Edinburgh Castle yesterday when he attended the daily firing of the One O’clock Gun to launch the Rangers Charity Foundation’s partnership with The Soldier’s Charity, aiming to raise £25,000 for the Army’s official national charity.
His sense of humour has happily survived the turbulence of his Rangers managerial tenure so far.
“The 1.20pm Gun has got a ring to it, don’t you think?,” he said on his arrival at the Mills Mount Battery. On this occasion, however, his notorious reputation for poor time-keeping was confounded as he had, in fact, turned up with some 15 minutes to spare.
McCoist remains determined to emerge successfully from Rangers’ current trials and tribulations which he feels he may yet be able to reflect upon fondly one day.
“There is a case for saying this is doing a lot for me as a manager,” he said. “It’s amazing the amount of people who have said to me, including other managers I speak to regularly, that there’s no manager who’s ever had this experience, going from where Rangers were to what we’re doing at the moment.
“I hope that I’ll look back in 15 years and think it was great, but at the moment I’ve not got time to do that. It’s one hell of an experience. There’s nothing that will shock me now or surprise me. I’ve just about covered it all in the last 12 or 18 months.
“The players have possibly found it harder in the Third Division than they expected. But you could make the argument that the team has changed since the start of the season. We had two international centre-backs playing, Dorin Goian and Carlos Bocanegra. So the whole transitional period will continue for a long time. We have to make progress, and progress is moving up the divisions.
“The responsibility is mine. The buck stops with me. But we have to take individual responsibility within the whole thing as well. Dare I say, I thought on Saturday against Queen’s Park, although we lost our way for ten minutes in the second half, we showed a bit of resilience and steel to come back and sort it out again.
“That will be required in the coming matches, especially away from home. It’s up to us now and we have to take individual responsibility within the team.
“The home support have been absolutely fantastic. We have won our games there and looked a lot better at home than we have away. I think it’s about time we gave the travelling support something to cheer.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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