Ally McCoist out to silence critics with Rangers title

ALLY McCOIST believes wrapping up the SPFL League One title against Airdrie tonight is the best way to answer Rangers' growing army of detractors.

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Ally McCoist is hoping to lead Rangers to the SPFL League One title with a victory over Airdrieonians at Ibrox tonight
Ally McCoist is hoping to lead Rangers to the SPFL League One title with a victory over Airdrieonians at Ibrox tonight

The Ibrox gaffer and his players have been enveloped in a firestorm of criticism following their lacklustre 1-1 draw with Albion Rovers, in the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final at Ibrox, on Sunday.

But tonight the Light Blues will host Airdrieonians knowing that a draw or a victory will help them secure their second consecutive league title and see them crowned as Scottish football's first champions of season 2013/14.

The Rangers manager has no doubt that is the perfect way to put the Rovers' debacle to bed.

McCoist said: "We couldn't have wished for a greater game to come up than one with an opportunity to win the league resting on it, as we do against Airdrie tonight.

"So we can't wait for tonight and we are totally looking forward rather than back.

"It was disappointing at the weekend, of course it was. But we move forward and dust ourselves down from the massive disappointment of Sunday.

"It has happened to great Rangers' teams of old in cup competition but all you can do is dust yourself down and go again."

When it came to the verbal brickbats that have been aimed at him personally, McCoist was pragmatic in his approach.

He said: "My first day at Ibrox Gregor Stevens said to me 'you'll do fine here as long as you have thick skin'. That brought it home to me and stood me in good stead.

"Same way you don't get carried away with good results, you try and treat bad ones the same. The one thing that is guaranteed, particularly as Rangers' manager, is criticism.

"I'm fully aware that along the way you are open to criticism and that some people will agree with you and others won't.

"I have been here long enough playing for the club, coaching at it and now managing it, to know what goes with the territory.

"I've said in the last couple of years that I don't think I will allow anything to shock me anymore, although I may get a couple of surprises.

"But in terms of what has happened it is just something to cope with and get on with and we will do.

"The fans are 100% entitled to air their views and we know that. So the fans need to know that we will be doing everything we can to make sure that Sunday's result is put to bed tonight.

"We are completely appreciative of the support they give us. We accept that they are totally within their rights to give us stick as players or as coaches if we don't do well enough."

But as he stood on the cusp of claiming the domestic season's first league title in record breaking time, McCoist was in no mood to play down the threat posed by Gary Bollan's obdurate Airdrie.

The Gers gaffer said: "Airdrie have not lost in seven games, they have beaten Dunfermline away from home and also beaten Ayr and drawn with Stranraer and they are fighting for their lives.

"So the one thing we can't afford to do is to take our eye off the ball. The priority is to beat Airdrie and claim the League One title and if we do that then we move on to the next game.

"But tonight is all that matters."

Football

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