‘It’s only Celtic’: McCoist recalls ex-Rangers team-mate’s bravado

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These days Rangers can’t secure a victory against their closest rivals for love nor money.

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Former Rangers manager and striker Ally McCoist. Picture: Jane Barlow

Former Rangers manager and striker Ally McCoist. Picture: Jane Barlow

However, things were quite different in the early 90s as Walter Smith’s side chased nine-in-a-row and a place in the Champions League, while Celtic struggled to lift themselves into second place in the Scottish top flight.

Ally McCoist, speaking to Simon Ferry on Open Goal, recalled a story which underlined the Light Blues’ confidence at the time.

He said: “We beat Leeds to get into the Champions League. They were a proper team, English champions. The first person in the dressing room after the game celebrating was Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I think he was happy for two reasons. As Manchester United manager I don’t think he was too unhappy seeing Leeds lose. And I think he just had a lot of pride for seeing a Scottish team do well.

“I remember Walter Smith saying after the game - we were staying in Manchester - and he says, ‘I don’t care where you’re going on what you’re doing, just remember that the bus leaves at 9.30 tomorrow morning’.

“A minute after 9.30, Stuart McCall gets on the bus looking like someone who’s enjoyed his victory.

“Walter’s said to him, ‘you, up the back of the bus, there’s a game on at the weekend’.

“Stuart says, ‘aye, but gaffer, it’s only Celtic’.”

Rangers won the match at Celtic Park 1-0 thanks to an Ian Durrant goal.

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