Ally McCoist sympathy for former club Sunderland

RANGERS manager Ally McCoist admits he knows just how miserable his former club Sunderland are feeling at the moment.

Ally McCoist signs to Rangers football club from Sunderland FC in June 1983. Picture: TSPL

The former Black Cats striker was part of Alan Durban’s side hammered 8-0 by Watford in September 1982 - the last time the club had shipped eight goals before last Saturday’s humiliating defeat at Southampton.

The former Scotland frontman has more reason the most of his team-mates to feel guilty after wasting two easy chances in that Vicarage Road clash with the game still goalless.

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But his side recovered from that devastating defeat to finish 16th in the old 22-team First Division and McCoist hopes Gus Poyet’s side can also battle their way out of relegation trouble.

McCoist, who scored just eight league goals in two seasons on Wearside, said: “My memories of that one is that I should have put Sunderland 2-0 up before the eight goals we lost that day.

“It was one of my worst days ever in football down at Vicarage Road.

“They had a proper team at that time. They had John Barnes and Nigel Callaghan and I think Luther Blissett was playing as well that day.

“It was horrendous - my worst ever defeat - so I can sympathise totally with what the Sunderland boys went through last week.

“We had a good group of boys and responded well. We certainly stayed in the division that year.

“But I can remember the feeling in the dressing room after that game. It was like there’d been a death in the family.

“Being a Sunderland man, and I’ve still got my season tickets down there, hopefully they can bounce back.”

Sunderland players have offered to refund fans who travelled down to the south coast for last weekend’s St Mary’s disaster.

But McCoist admits that was never an option for his side, saying: “I’m not sure we were as financially well looked after as the lads are nowadays to have done that.

“But if today’s team do that it would be a fantastic gesture because they are a wonderful support town there.”