ALLY McCoist says he is the luckiest man in the world to be Rangers boss – but admits he wishes he had been able to grow into the job at a less “turbulent” time.
Arbroath 1 - 2 Rangers
SCORERS: Arbroath; McManus (60), Rangers; Daly (18), Aird (87)
The club’s all-time record scorer took over from predecessor Walter Smith in 2011 but within nine months the club had plunged into administration.
When Rangers failed to win their fight for survival, they were forced to start again in the Third Division. McCoist has since then led them to back-to-back promotions – including this season’s League 1 title which was won with nine games to spare – and will aim to regain their top-flight status by claiming next term’s Scottish Championship flag.
However, the 51-year-old admits the liquidation crisis and continued off-field dramas have made the job tougher than it was for other Ibrox bosses. He told Sky Sports’ Goals on Sunday programme: “The best way to describe it is as the dream job, but just not at the right time.
“But that said you can’t pick and choose everything and I’m the luckiest man alive to play for the club I supported, then to be assistant to Walter and then get the [manager’s] job myself, so in that respect I still believe I’m the luckiest man alive. At best it has been a turbulent two-and-a-half years since, even prior to the club going into administration.
“The problems were there and you could see it coming. The signs were not good around the place and the staff and players could sniff it out.”
McCoist famously said he “did not do walking away” as he rejected rumours last year that he was set to quit. And he reiterated that insistence as he said: “No [I never thought about quitting], because it means so much to so many people. We have got an unbelievably loyal support – 72,000 season tickets sold in the last two years. It’s phenomenal.”
The club announced £3.7 million losses for the seven months up to December last week, with chairman David Somers questioning McCoist’s decision to bring in nine new players last summer in his interim report.
But McCoist did admit that wages at the club were too high. “There has been a lot of criticism and I can totally understand it,” he said. “A lot of it is justified. Our wages for where we are at the moment is too high. But at the same time our wages have come down in the region of 70 per cent in the last two years.”
Fraser Aird’s winner three minutes from time spared Rangers from dropping points away from home for the first time this season as they struggled to a 2-1 win on Saturday over Arbroath at Gayfield.
The League One champions took the lead through Jon Daly’s 25th goal of the season but looked set for a slip-up when French defender Sebastien Faure undercooked a header back to goalkeeper Cammy Bell just after the hour mark. That let in Paul McManus to score as the Red Lichties primed themselves for their first home draw against Rangers since 1938.
However, Aird’s late goal handed McCoist’s side the victory to maintain their 100 per cent record outside of Glasgow.