Jim Jefferies insists his Rangers rival Ally McCoist has paid his Dunfermline side the “biggest compliment ever” by asking for the teams’ eagerly-anticipated clash to be postponed because of just three international call-ups.
The Ibrox outfit this week saw Lee Wallace named in Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad to face Croatia, Lewis Macleod called up by Scotland under-21s for the double-header with Slovakia and Georgia, and Arnold Peralta included in the Honduras pool for World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Jamaica.
With Dean Shiels and Andy Little also on stand-by for Northern Ireland, the League One leaders have successfully applied to the SPFL for a delay to their home meeting with the Pars, which was scheduled to be live on television on Saturday week.
Jefferies said: “I spoke to Ally a couple of weeks ago because I knew it fell on an international weekend and I always thought the game had a chance of being postponed. They postponed their Ramsdens Cup tie against Queen of the South when it was on the weekend of the Belgium game. He did say to me if they had boys away there would be the possibility they would apply for it to be changed. Ally was expecting it to be five players that were called up but I joked with him that it was just because we had beaten Ayr United 5-1.
“I told him we were keen for the game to go ahead because we just want to keep playing – and so does Ally, but it’s their prerogative to appeal and they’ve had the go-ahead to postpone it.
“That’s the rules, there’s not a lot we can do about it.
“I called our players in to tell them the match wasn’t going ahead next week and I told them that Ally had given them the biggest compliment ever.
“Even with the size of squad they’ve got, they feel they need their international players for the game. It’s definitely a bit of a compliment.”