RANGERS boss Ally McCoist insists it was the Ibrox board’s decision to press ahead with next week’s clash with Alloa - not his.
The Ibrox side are entitled to postpone the Scottish Championship fixture scheduled for November 15 after three of their players were called up for international duty.
But despite Lewis Macleod being away with Gordon Strachan’s Scotland squad and Bilel Mohsni and Arnold Peralta on call with Tunisia and Honduras respectively, the League One champions will press ahead against the Wasps.
That is a change of tack from the previous line taken by the club.
They have called off four matches over the last two years while first-team figures were off playing for their countries - including last month’s trip to Cowdenbeath, Rangers won the rearranged fixture 3-0 on Tuesday night.
But McCoist revealed it was the Light Blues directors’ call to leave the Alloa fixture as it was.
He said: “The Alloa game will go ahead. We considered calling it off, as we have done with previous fixtures, but the board have made their decision that they would like it to go ahead, which I totally respect. I’m totally fine with that.
“I have said we would like to show a level of consistency but I have always said the overriding factor would be the welfare of our team and our club.
“I have got no idea [why the board took its decision]. I know it was made with respect to the fans as well, there is absolutely no doubt about that.
“The board haven’t exactly told me why they have made that decision but I totally respect it and we move on.
“I think my opinion would be taken into account. I don’t have any doubt about that. But it is far too big a decision just to be a football decision.
“There are a lot of factors as well like the financial side and fans travelling which I 100 per cent understand.”
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But McCoist acknowledged the Glasgow giants could end up with egg on their faces if they now lose to Barry Smith’s men.
“We just have to make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said. “I take the point, we do have players away - enough players away to call the game off.
“But the decision has been made and we are totally fine with it. In an ideal world we don’t look silly at all, we go and win the match, which is the plan.”
Rangers host Falkirk on Saturday looking to keep pace with Championship leaders Hearts.
But the pre-match build-up for the visit of Peter Houston’s team is low key compared to the fires which will be stoked ahead of the League Cup semi-final with Celtic early next year.
The teams have not met in two-and-a-half years but McCoist insists his men are not even thinking about the Bhoys - only the Bairns.
“The Celtic game is still several months away,” said the Ibrox manager. “It would be extremely dangerous and lacking in professionalism if we took our eye off the ball and focused on anything other than tomorrow’s game.”
Even still, the Old Firm hype is hard to escape, with the bookmakers making Rangers massive outsiders ahead of the Hampden clash.
But McCoist is still waiting to hear if he will be allowed to strengthen his squad before then.
The boss - who has yet to speak directly with the club’s new benefactor Mike Ashley or newly-appointed director Derek Llambias - added: “We will need to wait and see. We haven’t had any discussions at all about the January window.
“But I don’t doubt that these discussions will take place.”
Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that the Light Blues’ Petrofac Training Cup semi-final with Alloa will take place on Wednesday, December 3.
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