Rangers: Boris Pandza still on McCoist’s radar

Ally McCoist remains hopeful of signing defender Boris Pandza. Picture: SNS
Ally McCoist remains hopeful of signing defender Boris Pandza. Picture: SNS
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Rangers manager Ally McCoist has not yet given up hope of landing Boris Pandza.

rox manager is keen to bolster his defence and the Bosnia-Herzegovina international remains on the radar.

The 26-year-old centre-back has been the subject of protracted talks stretching back a number of weeks, and McCoist says the player is still on his wanted list.

He said: “Not all transfers are clear-cut and can get done in 24 hours. This one is obviously taking a little bit of time but I would still be very hopeful.

“My job as manager is to improve the squad where and when I can. There are one or two players I would like to bring in so we will see over the next few days if we can get them in.

“I would like another centre-back and I would like to get another forward as well because I think we are a little bit sparse in those areas in terms of injury and suspension.”

McCoist also wants to add another goalkeeper to challenge Cammy Bell for the gloves. Steve Simonsen has been training with the squad, along with former Everton midfielder Sam Kelly.

“Both of them are here for another week,” McCoist said. “The fact that they’re back for another week would indicate they are doing well and we’re happy to have them for another week. In terms of offering something longer term, it will probably be Thursday or Friday before we know any more on that.”

Rangers head into the Ramsdens Cup second-round tie against Berwick Rangers this evening on a high following Friday night’s 6-0 thrashing of Airdrie in the Scottish League One on Friday.

McCoist said: “If I could get a repeat of Friday’s game, I would be delighted. Berwick have posed us one or two problems in the past and they have started the season reasonably well.

“We go back to last year’s side in the respect that we can’t play any of our new faces.

“It’s a game we are looking forward to after a good performance and result against Airdrieonians but we will have to be very careful as well.”

Rangers must wait until 1 September, when a transfer embargo is lifted, to register their eight new players.

Competition rules restrict them from fielding trialists beyond the first round of the Ramsdens Cup so Jon Daly and Nicky Law – both on the scoresheet at Airdrie – are ineligible for the visit of the ‘wee’ Rangers.

McCoist added: “I’ve got one or two concerns, but there is nothing I can do about it.

“We just have to go out and prepare right, which we attempt to do for every game, and treat the opposition with respect.

“It’s up to the boys who go out and play the game [on Tuesday] night. We are expected to do our best – and we expect to do our best – in every competition we are in and give everything we’ve got.

“The Ramsdens Cup is no different. Queen of the South put us out last year and we want to do well in the competition this year. We want to go all the way. It’s no different from any other competition.

“It’s not ideal because of the circumstances in terms of the personnel we are allowed to pick from. But that’s where we are and we just have to get on with it.”

Berwick have been regular visitors to Govan in 2013. This is Ian Little’s side’s third trip to face Rangers at their home this year and the Berwick manager said: “It may be the third time in a short period of time but it is still very exciting for us.

“Going to Ibrox gives the players, club and fans a buzz and their fans will also be looking forward to the game after beating Airdrie 6-0 on Friday night.”

The Shielfield men lost 4-2 and 1-0 on their visits last season and Little is hoping that they can do better this time. “We played really well in both games and were unlucky not to take anything from them,” he explained. “The obvious aim is to do better this time out, which of course means winning, which would be fantastic. However, despite them having to change their team about, it will be difficult to do.”

Little is desperate for a bumper crowd to turn up. “We have faced Rangers and Celtic in recent seasons and the income from these games has allowed our club to make small steps forward,” Little added.

“It would be great to keep moving forward as we would like to build on last season’s play-off place by getting promoted this season.”

Former Hearts midfielder Neil Janczyk will make his first Berwick appearance of the season after injury and Stephen Tulloch returns following a knock. However, Dougie Brydon remains out.