McCoist backs Simonsen; warns over Twitter usage

Steve Simonsen can only watch as Nadir Ciftci seals the win for United. Picture: Getty
Steve Simonsen can only watch as Nadir Ciftci seals the win for United. Picture: Getty
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RANGERS boss Ally McCoist stands four square behind Steve Simonsen following the stand-in keeper’s costly mistake in the 3-1 William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Dundee United - but has little sympathy for the Englishman’s social media troubles.

The 35-year-old closed his Twitter account after the abuse received in the wake of his error, which gifted Tannadice striker Nadir Ciftci the clinching third goal at Ibrox on Saturday.

Simonsen was drafted in for only his second game since joining the Scottish League One champions last season after Cammy Bell suffered concussion, and may remain in goal for the clash with Forfar at Ibrox on Tuesday night if the Gers number one is not declared fit.

However, McCoist all but dismissed the former Everton, Stoke and Dundee keeper’s Twitter decision.

“It makes me feel he shouldn’t have been on it in the first place to be quite honest,” he said.

“Maybe I am an old dinosaur but I am seeing more negatives than positives from players on Twitter at the moment.

“I have said before, we have to be extremely guarded in what we do and what we say.

“Of course it was a mistake, an error, he is the first one to admit that.

“He also had probably the best save I’ve seen this season up at Forfar, one of the best three I’ve seen anywhere this season, so you take the good with the bad.

“As I say, on these social network sites you run the risk of taking abuse from a certain type of individual.”

McCoist retained his arms-length policy about the club’s seemingly-endless boardroom squabbles, but insists they do not alter his belief that Rangers will get back to where they were before administration and liquidation in 2012 resulted in them relaunching in the bottom tier of Scottish football.

The row between Dave King and the Rangers board intensified on Sunday night after he issued another statement questioning its integrity.

The former Ibrox director on Friday urged Light Blues fans not to buy season tickets and accused the board of an “extreme act of bad faith”. The South Africa-based Glaswegian was upset that the club have asked fans to renew their season tickets before the completion of a 120-day review of the business’s operations.

Rangers, who have referred the matter to legal advisers, noted King’s initial statement “with astonishment” and said he had made ‘’a number of untrue allegations’’, but have not responded to his latest comments.

McCoist said: “If you don’t believe and don’t have faith in the club moving forward then you are in the wrong job, and I have to be confident in that.

“I just look at the atmosphere our supporters created on Saturday and that tells me we have a chance.

“Our job is to go on to the park and win games of football and thankfully, more often than not, we have been doing that.

“And as I say, when you look at the atmosphere that we created inside the stadium on Saturday, that’s why we need to keep believing.

“It is a hard enough job to do and if you let outside factors affect you then it is exceedingly difficult.

“So we have to batten down the hatches and concentrate on the football, which we did on Saturday.”

Calum Gallagher eyes more gametime

CALUM Gallagher is looking to use the rest of the season to establish himself in the Rangers first team

The 19-year-old forward made a scoring debut in the 2-0 home Scottish League One win over Dunfermline in March and featured in the Gers’ next three games.

However, he was left on the bench for the Ramsdens League Cup final against Raith Rovers at Easter Road last week and for the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Dundee United at Ibrox on Saturday.

Gallagher, who signed a two-year extension to his contract three weeks ago, featured for Rangers’ Under-20s in the Youth Cup semi-final win over St Mirren on Sunday but is hoping Ally McCoist gives him more game time in the final weeks of the campaign.

Ahead of the League One clash with Forfar at Ibrox on Tuesday night, he said: “To be a regular in the first team is my target.

“Things are going well the way they are but I think I can be a bit greedy and hope for a bit more.

“I would love to play every game until the end of the season but that is not the way things work sometimes.

“I will take whatever I am given and I will be happy for it.

“But if there was going to be time when the younger ones could stake a claim in the first team I think it could be now.

“I was disappointed (on Saturday) but I understand why I was left out.

“I don’t want that to come over as expected to play but I was wishing I was.

“I can’t complain. All I can hope for is that if I keep working hard, I can keep impressing the right people.”