ALLY McCoist has threatened to come down “like a ton of bricks” on any player who believes Rangers do not have to win on the road to claim the Irn-Bru Third Division title.
Rangers, embarrassingly, have yet to win a single league game away from home this season as they prepare to travel to Clyde tomorrow seeking to rectify that record.
Despite such poor form away from Ibrox, Rangers still managed to move top of the table with a victory over Queen’s Park last week. Their new status as league leaders suggests home results could be enough to secure the silverware come the end of the campaign regardless of their inability to produce the goods in less salubrious surroundings.
But such an attitude is one McCoist would be unwilling to tolerate within his dressing room.
He said: “That’s unacceptable. There is a balance because the priority is to get out of the division and that has been the case from the word go.
“But I would look upon that [attitude] as a form of complacency and we can’t afford to be complacent. It’s taken us long enough to get to the top of the league.
“A lot of people have been surprised – whether that’s right or wrong – by how long it’s taken us to get there so we don’t want another challenge of having to get back there.
“Now that we’re there, in an ideal world, we could stay there. If I saw any thoughts or ideas amongst any of the players thinking that we don’t need to win the away games because we are doing all right anyway, believe me, I would be down on them like a ton of bricks. But I don’t think it would happen, I don’t think that’s the case.” On finally moving top of the pile, the manager added: “That is a mental block that we’ve overcome and the next one would be an away victory.
“These are all steps we have to take to get out of the division. Last week was a good day for us – a clean sheet and going top of the division. Sunday, equally, will be very important in having to win the game to stay top of the league.
“I’m getting sick of my own voice saying it’s high time we got away victories and we need to start on Sunday. It’s not going to be easy. We believe we’ve got better players but we won’t get anything unless we match Clyde. I think we’ll do that and I’m hopeful.”
Asked if too much has been made of their away form, ahead of the short trip to Broadwood, McCoist said: “I wouldn’t say that because it’s disappointing. The main objective is to win the league and get out of the division – that’s always been the case. But you want to do it with a bit of style if possible and we haven’t. That’s one thing we’ve not been playing with away from home. We all know what’s expected. We’re looking forward to Sunday completely aware of how difficult it will be but looking forward to the game.”
Meanwhile, Rangers fans will have to wait a while longer to witness David Templeton’s return to action.
The winger is back in training after being sidelined since 15 September with ankle ligament damage but will not feature this weekend.
McCoist said: “The good news is the wee man is looking healthy again.
“He’s out on the training ground and I would hope he would be back playing for us in the not-too-distant future. This weekend has come a little bit too early for him.”
On the chances of Templeton making his comeback against Inverness in the Scottish Communities League Cup on Wednesday, the manager added: “Big game, big call.
“We’ll see how he is on Monday. I wouldn’t rule anything out. The most important thing, when he does come back, is that he’s 100 per cent fit and ready to go again.”