Airdrie pitch will dictate Rangers team - McCoist

Ally McCoist: 'I'm a believer that football should be played on grass'. Picture: SNS
Ally McCoist: 'I'm a believer that football should be played on grass'. Picture: SNS
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Rangers boss Ally McCoist admits his team selection for Friday’s Scottish League One clash at Airdrie will be influenced by their rival’s artificial pitch.

• Rangers may rest Dean Shiels and Emilson Cribari ahead of Airdrie league tie over fears that the home side’s artificial turf may increase risk of injury

• “You do get some that are better than others but generally speaking, I’m a believer football should be played on grass,” says McCoist

Brazilian defender Emilson Cribari is nearing a return from a groin injury, while Dean Shiels made his first start since March last week after recovering from a serious knee problem.

However, McCoist will give serious thought to whether he should include the duo against the Diamonds due to the surface.

The Light Blues boss is already restricted to fielding just two of his new recruits as trialists in the match, as the club waits for a transfer embargo to end on September 1.

McCoist told the Rangers website: “The park is something that’s part and parcel of facing some teams in the lower leagues and we have to get used to that.

“I’ve made my view on artificial surfaces clear: I’m not a fan of them.

“You do get some that are better than others but generally speaking, I’m a believer football should be played on grass.

“We’ve played on these types of pitches enough now though that we should know what to expect and it’s a little bit of a leveller.

“The surface will play a big part in who we bring back on Friday and we’ll have to take a look at Emilson.

“He is coming along nicely but I have to take the pitch into account.

“I’ll maybe have a wee chat with Shielsy as well. He’s fit but he’s just coming back from an injury.

“Let’s not forget David [Templeton] also suffered a very serious injury on that kind of pitch down at Annan last year. There are a lot of things to weigh up.”

Meanwhile, former commercial director Imran Ahmad has reduced his shareholding in Rangers to below three per cent.

Ahmad - who was part of the Charles Green consortium who purchased the business and assets of Rangers last summer - left the club in April.

News of the reduction of shares was confirmed to the London Stock Exchange less than 24 hours after Green’s role as club consultant was terminated with immediate effect.

A statement read: “Rangers announces that it was notified on 19 August 2013 that Imran Ahmad no longer has a notifiable interest in the Company’s issued share capital.”