Ally McCoist insists he “couldn’t give a monkey’s” about Rangers’ 100 per cent Scottish League 1 record coming to an end at the hands of Stranraer yesterday afternoon.
The Rangers manager’s hopes of his side claiming a 21st win in a row were dashed when Jamie Longworth struck deep into injury time to cancel out Lee McCulloch’s first-half penalty and claim a share of the points.
The 1-1 draw at Ibrox ended any thoughts of Rangers going through the entire league campaign without dropping a single point this term. But McCoist was less interested in statistics and more concerned about such a poor display by his players.
He said: “I will be 100 per cent honest with you – I actually couldn’t give a monkey’s about the record. I really couldn’t. I’m not interested in the record, I’m only concerned about the level of performance that we gave and it was extremely disappointing.
“It was a really disappointing day for us. Certainly I’m of the opinion that Stranraer more than deserved their point.
“The players have got a lot of praise for going on a great run since the start of the league campaign and it’s been thoroughly deserved. But I think they would admit that wasn’t good enough and we all deserve the criticism that will be placed on us.”
Rangers’ previous game had been a 3-0 win against Ayr United on 7 December and McCoist believes the break from action in recent weeks showed against an impressive Stranraer side.
He said: “We actually looked like a team who hadn’t played for three weeks. The irony isn’t lost on me that we now have four games in 11 days.”
McCoist added: “We just looked like a team who needed a game and we certainly got one today.
I would be very hopeful we can perform a lot better than that at Dunfermline in our next game.”
The one positive for Rangers on what proved to be an otherwise disappointing Boxing Day was Andy Little’s earlier than expected return from injury.
The striker was initially ruled out for the rest of the year after suffering a broken cheekbone at the start of November but came off the bench to make his comeback early in the second half.
McCoist said: “That was a bonus for us. I’m delighted to get Andy back. To be honest, I thought he looked as though he had been out for a few weeks but he will certainly come on from that because he needed that game. It was good to get him back from a bad injury.”
Stranraer manager Stephen Aitken felt his side could have snatched all three points had it not been for what he described as a “dodgy” penalty decision by referee Andrew Dallas. But he says he was more than happy to return to Stair Park with a point from the clash at Ibrox, where the Stranraer players celebrated wildly at full-time with the travelling fans.
Aitken said: “I’m delighted, over the moon. To come here and perform the way we did was pleasing. I thought we thoroughly deserved the point. For long spells we were in control of the game.
“If it wasn’t for a wee dodgy penalty decision we might have got more. But, if somebody had said they would have given me a point for a Christmas present, I would have bitten their hand off.”