IT MIGHT be expected that Iain Russell would hope his Queen of the South side had not delivered the final blow to Ally McCoist at Rangers courtesy of their comprehensive 2-0 victory on Friday night. The 32-year-old was in the youth ranks at Ibrox as McCoist was carving out legendary status as a player, and his grandfather is late 1950s Rangers stalwart Ian McMillan.
Yet it is tartan and not light blue spectacles that Russell peers through when stating his wish that McCoist and Rangers miraculously avoid a seemingly inevitable, grim ending to their story.
“I am not a Rangers supporter but I did grow up with Ally McCoist being one of my heroes. I think an awful lot of young boys of my age in Scotland would have had him as a hero,” said the forward. “Ally is great for the Scottish game. He has been one of the biggest figures in it since I was growing up. He is a great guy as well. Looking at it from outside, as a fan of Scottish football I want Rangers to be doing well. You want them in the Premier League for the good of the game. I hope they can do that.”
Even if the win for James Fowler’s side moved them to within four points of Rangers in third, Russell certainly does not think they can catch the Ibrox club in the race for the title. He does, though, believe Hearts’ nine-point advantage is not an insurmountable gap for Rangers. “I don’t think we can finish above Rangers, nah,” he said. “Our win was at home. Rangers should still have a shot at the title. I don’t see us being at that stage as yet. We are looking to get into the play-offs. That is where we are at. We always knew it was going to be difficult with the big three in the league but it is our main objective. We have been playing well all season and are in a rich vein of form at the minute so we have been going into most games fairly confident.”