‘Favourites’ tag means nothing, warns Ally McCoist

Rangers manager Ally McCoist chats to the press at Murray Park. Picture: Kirk O'Rourke
Rangers manager Ally McCoist chats to the press at Murray Park. Picture: Kirk O'Rourke
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Ally McCoist is unsure if his Rangers are ready to compete for major trophies. The unbeaten League One leaders are on the brink of clinching the third-tier title but have not faced top-flight opposition since losing 3-0 to Dundee United in last season’s William Hill Scottish Cup.

They face Albion Rovers today in the quarter-finals of this year’s competition knowing that a victory will probably pair them with a Scottish Premiership side.

The bookies believe Rangers are on course for the final and have priced them as the 3/1 second favourites. But Ibrox boss McCoist is uncertain whether his team is ready to take on one of the nation’s big outfits.

He said: “I’m not sure if we are ahead of schedule or behind. It’s difficult to gauge with cups because you do need the luck of the draw. Should we be amongst the favourites? I don’t know. Dundee United look not bad, while Aberdeen have beaten Celtic twice in the last four weeks.”

He added: “Cup ties are one-off games anyway but because we are not playing at the top level no one really knows where we are it, so it doesn’t really bother me what the bookies say.”

But McCoist is adamant his side will take no chances against League Two Rovers, who have already knocked out Motherwell and Stenhousemuir from the divisions above them.

“Rangers have been knocked out of cups before when they were in the top flight by teams they should have beaten,” said McCoist. “It is no different in respect to Motherwell, who were favourites to beat Rovers when they played, as were Stenhousemuir. So that indicates that the favourites tag doesn’t really matter.

“The fact that we are at home and have already beaten Rovers this season [in the Ramsdens Cup last July]would indicate that we should be strong favourites. We just need to make sure that we deserve that tag by winning.”