Rangers’ former reputation counts for little

McCoist watched his team lose 3-0 to Dundee Utd. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
McCoist watched his team lose 3-0 to Dundee Utd. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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Time was when attracting big names to play for Rangers was no problem. The club could offer guaranteed European football and pay top-dollar fees and wages.

Consequently, current manager Ally McCoist is still coming to terms with the fact that 
persuading players to join the new club – or even not to dismiss any approach out of hand – is the hardest part of his job.

As of now, he has found it impossible to lure any of his targets to Ibrox (the signing embargo placed on the club means that players cannot be registered until 1 September) on pre-contract agreements and even Lee Wallace’s return to the Scotland squad hasn’t convinced him that potential targets may regard that development as an obstacle removed.

“I’d hope so but I need to tell you that it’s really, really difficult, very difficult,” said McCoist, pictured.

“It’s understandable but it’s really hard getting players of a standard we feel should be representing the club to come. It’s where our position within Scottish football is at the minute.

“Other factors come into it, in that it’s not a big cross against your name in terms of international squads.

“The gates and [media] interest we’re getting should be a plus but it’s proving to be harder than I thought it would be.

“Some players just aren’t interested. The name of Rangers used to command interest. It’s not shocked me but it has disappointed me.

“We didn’t lose 30 players last summer for any other reason than where we were. They left was because they didn’t want to play in SFL3. Why, then, would it suddenly become attractive to [other] players of that ability? It hasn’t.”

Even so, McCoist remains tentatively hopeful that he may be able to entice a few rabbits out of his hat.

“We are close with a couple but I’m just scared of that door getting slammed in my face again,” he said. “We can’t register anyone until September but I want them done tomorrow It would just give everyone a boost to know we have two or three fresh faces coming in.

“More than anything, it would give the fans a boost as their patience has been tested and I fully appreciate that.

“On the whole, they have been unbelievable so it would be nice for them to freshen it up and give them something that would excite them.”