‘Daniel Cousin deal could turn title race in our favour’ says Ally McCoist

RANGERS manager Ally McCoist believes that the return of Daniel Cousin could switch the momentum of the SPL title race back in the Ibrox club’s favour at a crucial stage of the season.

McCoist is confident the 35-year-old Gabon international striker will agree a short-term move to Rangers and has not discounted the possibility of a deal being concluded in time for him to play against Dunfermline at East End Park tomorrow.

Cousin, a free agent following a three-month stint with FC Sapins in his homeland, has informed McCoist of his willingness to go back to Rangers, where he scored 13 goals in 44 appearances from August 2007 to September 2008. A deal remains subject to personal terms being agreed and international clearance being received from the Gabon FA. McCoist feels that Cousin, who spent the last three weeks on international duty with co-hosts Gabon at the Africa Cup of Nations, is capable of making an instant impact for Rangers, which can compensate for the recent sale of top scorer Nikica Jelavic to Everton.

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“It is a great chance for Daniel to play at a big club he knows, to score goals and help us maintain a serious championship challenge,” said McCosit. “With a bit of luck, he could help us retain the title. If he gets here in time and has no problems registration-wise, he would be in the reckoning to play on Saturday.”

It was initially believed Cousin would have to serve a one-match suspension, left over from being sent off in the final game of his first spell at Rangers, but it has emerged he did so by missing Hull City’s first game after he joined them from the Ibrox club.

“I’ve been told he served his suspension by sitting out Hull’s game against Newcastle after leaving us,” said McCoist, “although we are still waiting to have that confirmed 100 per cent. I would hope Daniel would be able to hit the ground running if he signed. He’s obviously match fit, having played with Gabon all the way to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations. He also knows Rangers and the environment he is coming into, which I would hope would be a big benefit to us.

“I had a good chat with him the other day and we talked about all aspects of the move, but he was certainly keen to come. I’m loathe to say much more until he arrives at Glasgow Airport but I’m very keen.

“I don’t know what his other options are to be honest with you. He didn’t say that he had other options. If he has, it’s up to him to make up his own mind.

“There are one or two details in terms of red tape with the Gabon FA and there is still the matter of a contract between now and the end of the season. Those are two hurdles I’d hope we would overcome.”

McCoist has no doubt Cousin would enhance Rangers’ attacking strength, the limitations of which were exposed by last Sunday’s 2-0 home defeat to Dundee United in the Scottish Cup.

“We didn’t pose anything like a strong enough threat in the forward area,” said McCoist. “The goals we conceded weren’t great defensively but, at the same time, you need to have a focal point up front. You need a striker who can be a physical presence and cause one or two problems. He may be older now, but I watched his performances in the Africa Cup of Nations and, from what I saw of him, he would certainly do a job for us.”

Cousin earned a reputation during his first spell at Rangers of only performing to his best in higher-profile games, in Europe or against Celtic, but McCoist says the player appreciates the significance of the circumstances to which he would be committing himself.

McCoist said: “Every game between now and the end of the season is massive so, if Daniel is a big game player, that’s fine.”