Walter Smith: McCoist will return to management

Former Rangers manager Ally McCoist. Picture: Robert Perry
Former Rangers manager Ally McCoist. Picture: Robert Perry
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FORMER Rangers boss Walter Smith believes Ally McCoist will want to try his luck in management again despite his turbulent Ibrox reign.

The club’s record goalscorer handed in his notice last month but was put on garden leave by chairman David Somers.

McCoist replaced Smith in 2011 but had to deal with the club’s liquidation and then a series of boardroom disputes during his three-and-a-half reign.

Ultimately, though, it was a series of poor results that left the club 13 points adrift of Scottish Championship leaders Hearts which forced him out.

But Smith - who gave McCoist his break in coaching while in charge of Scotland - says the 52-year-old will want another chance to prove himself in the dug-out.

Speaking at the launch of former Rangers Director of Communications Jim Traynor’s new PR firm Level 5, he said: “I wasn’t surprised that Ally took the decision to resign. I had a little bit of a similar circumstance at Everton and it’s not pleasant to be involved in.

“I think Alistair will want to try management again, probably not in Scotland though. Once you have been an Old Firm manager I don’t think you’d want to come back here immediately.

“But if he got an opportunity south of the border I’m sure he would be delighted to take it.

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“He’s a resilient boy and I’m sure he will be back.”

Rangers will meet Old Firm rivals Celtic for the first time since May 2012 in next month’s Scottish League Cup semi-final at Hampden.

The years since then have not been kind to the Light Blues, and defender Steven Smith admits the Ibrox faithful will be dreading the match.

But nine-titles-in-a-row boss Smith believes the on-field gulf can be closed easily - so long as the club’s off-field problems are solved.

He said: “I think the gap can be closed quite quickly. It needs a level of finance. That’s the problem Rangers have if they are going to get promotion this season and start playing Celtic again four times a year.

“The support will not be happy unless you put on a performance, especially in those games.

“So it might take Rangers a couple of seasons to get back to being title challengers if they get some investment in the team.

“That part of it can be fixed but there are other parts that have to be looked at at the same time which may take a little bit longer.”

SEE ALSO

Stuart Bathgate: Failings at Rangers go far beyond Ally McCoist

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