RANGERS manager Ally McCoist has revealed that there will come a time when he can no longer deal with the constant pressure which he has been under since he replaced Walter Smith as manager of Rangers in the summer of 2011.
Should he have any say in the matter, the decision to stand down will not be taken before he can lead the club into the top tier of Scottish football but he admits that the choice may be taken from him by the people in charge at Ibrox.
Following yet another week of off-field drama and revelations which further damaged Rangers’ reputation, McCoist admitted that a point will be reached when he will realise that he must make that break for his own sake and that of his family.
“There is absolutely no doubt that time will come,” he said. “One hundred per cent it will come. I cannot give you a timescale, but I can tell you right now it will come. I might not get the opportunity to let it come, by the way!”
Whenever he may leave, though, McCoist stressed that his departure will not be as a result of him tiring of the task.
“Not at all: not in that respect,” he said. “Everybody has got a cut-off point, there is no doubt about that. But there is so much work to get done and I want to continue with that.
“The work here will never be finished. There will always be something else to do. You will have to win a game then have to win something else.
“Our main job, from our point of view, is to get back to where we feel we belong and that is in the top flight competing and challenging. We have got a long way to go before we are nearly there.”
McCoist, though, does not fret about the fact he may not be allowed to choose the timing of his exit.
“There are lots of reasons it could get taken away from you,” he said. “Football is a results business. I genuinely don’t worry about it at all. What will be will be. This place has been interesting enough.”
Gordon Strachan and Neil Lennon each lasted four seasons as manager of Celtic before deciding that they had had enough of the relentless demands of life in charge of one of the Glasgow giants. Interestingly, McCoist is now in his fourth season as the main man at Rangers.
“I understand exactly what Gordon and Neil have said and do say,” he said. “There is absolutely no doubt, no doubt at all, that managing Celtic and Rangers is at a different level, an absolutely different level, in terms of the intensity and focus that are on you 24/7.
“I even include some of the big clubs in England. Obviously, there are far bigger clubs which have had European success and play in the Champions League. That is not the point I am trying to make. It is the spotlight you are under here, definitely.
“I know it’s crazy but it actually has flown in in many ways. But, when you think of what has happened in those four years, I can’t believe I am saying that. You would think it would be in your memory and stay with you for a long time.”
Many observers of the Ibrox soap opera will undoubtedly be intrigued to discover that McCoist has kept a journal during his time in office.
“That diary is up there in the safe,” he said. “I actually have a look at it now and again and don’t believe it!”
Rangers last won a cup in 2010/11 and, on Tuesday, they play host to early Premiership pace-setters Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the last 16 of the League Cup, having been beaten 3-0 at Ibrox by the Highland side in the quarter-final of the competition two years ago.
Last season Dundee United beat them 3-1 at the same venue in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup and McCoist is keenly aware that the fear factor which the old stadium once possessed is no longer there. He intends to reinstate it before he departs.
“I think if we can make Ibrox a feared place it would be a massive step for everybody,” he said. “Obviously, in years gone by it was a feared place.
“Talk to people who have come here and they would say that, for the first 15-20 minutes, they would have the fear.
“We have not got that at the minute and a lot of that is down to what has happened to us in the last few years.
“If we can build that up again and get somewhere near being a feared team at our own stadium that would be a big step for us.”