RANGERS manager Ally McCoist is determined not to read too much into the shock Scottish League Cup exit to Forfar which capped a week of turmoil both on and off the field.
Rangers crashed out of the first round of the competition after extra time at Station Park on Saturdau, against the backdrop of a boardroom battle that sees a group of shareholders attempt to remove key figures from the board. A blistering post-match verbal attack on Charles Green - who claimed in a newspaper article on Saturday that McCoist must win a cup this year - suggests the manager and the former chief executive turned club consultant are also on a collision course.
However, McCoist’s assessment of the match itself was much calmer as he pointed out that, with a transfer embargo restricting the use of their new recruits, the team who slumped to defeat was effectively the same group of players who struggled at times in the bottom tier of Scottish football last term. He said: “It is disappointing but, at the same time, we had a lot of disappointing results last year with the same team so I don’t think we should be getting carried away. It’s obviously a big disappointment, we’re not kidding ourselves on, but I would fully expect, come September, to be a lot stronger in all areas. It’s going to be a tough month for us, we’ve just got to get through this month, and then we will be far stronger.”
The signing ban means Rangers must wait until 1 September to register their eight new players. Nicky Law and Jon Daly were both able to feature as trialists in last week’s 4-0 win over Albion Rovers in the Ramsdens Cup. But competition rules prevent the use of any trialists from participating in the League Cup, meaning all new recruits were restricted to watching from the stand on Saturday.
McCoist added: “I’m very, very disappointed but I’m realistic. We had eight players who will play for us sitting in the stand. We should remember that. ”
Fellow Scottish League 1 side Forfar took an early lead through Gavin Swankie before Fraser Aird forced the tie into extra time with a late leveller. But Rangers’ hopes of progression in the competition were shattered when Swankie struck again deep into extra time. Swankie said: “When you look at their results last season, there were teams who were beating them. So we gave ourselves a chance before the game.”