McCoist says Rangers can't afford to play catch-up

ALLY McCoist reckons newly-crowned SPFL League One champions Rangers need to start preparing for next season soon.

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Ally McCoist is hoping to progress talks with Graham Wallace over budget for next season
Ally McCoist is hoping to progress talks with Graham Wallace over budget for next season

But the Gers gaffer has confirmed he is still not aware what his transfer budget will be - or even if he will be able to strengthen his squad.

And with the Ibrox club set to square up to full-time opposition in the Championship in the 2014/15 campaign, the scenario is concerning McCoist.

He said: "It's pretty difficult to plan as we don't know what the situation will be in terms of the budget, scouting, finances and things like that.

"We're planning things like pre-season, but we need to get moving in terms of the squad and player changes.

"I had a meeting with Graham (chief executive Wallace) on Thursday and there will be more meetings next week. I can only take advice from Graham and the board.

"We're really keen to get organised and get moving on things. I've spoken to one potential Bosman signing, but that was a good while ago.

"Time is marching on, but the club's still not in an ideal situation to go and nail things down at this moment in time.

"But our fans need to know that, once we get the go-ahead, we'll get moving."

McCoist admitted that other second-tier teams pulling ahead of Rangers in their preparations for next season due to the uncertainty is a worry.

Even Hearts, who look certain to be relegated from the Premiership, have stabilised after their off-field problems and look to be ready to launch a challenge for promotion.

Yet Wallace is conducting a "120-day restructuring project" that is only set to be completed by the middle of April

McCoist said: "It is a concern. We want to be ready to go and ready to get operating right now. But we still have problems which need to be solved within the infrastructure of our own football department and our club. One of the major ones is the scouting department.

"These are issues we need addressed, but the board and Graham know we need to get moving on it. They know how important it is to the club and for the club to move forward.

"But there's no use jumping ahead if things need sorting out and stabilised in terms of the infrastructure of the club."

McCoist has previously admitted he would like to add players to his existing squad to boost their chances of winning promotion back to the top flight.

He predicted there would be a considerable step up in standard when Rangers start to play in the Championship.

He said: "I think it will be a bigger jump than last year to this year, with the majority of the teams full-time.

"That's a factor in giving teams more time to prepare, fitness and all things like that. We just have to make sure we're ready to handle it."

McCoist, though, admitted that he was looking forward to the challenge of competing for the Championship against full-time teams once again.

And he predicted there could be better games for spectators to watch than has been the case in League One this season and in the Third Division last season.

McCoist said: "I hope teams are a bit more open next term. At the start of this season we were definitely scoring more freely, but towards the end teams have changed their shape and made themselves more difficult to beat.

"Perhaps at the start they were having more of a go until they saw we were scoring four, five and six and, quite rightly, there was a change in their train of thought.

"The quality of football will be better next season, but I'm not sure teams will come and play all-out attack against us. Rangers will still be a massive scalp.

"They won't be looking at us as a team that's just promoted. They look at us as Glasgow Rangers. The intensity of the game won't make it like a normal league game for the opposition."

He continued: "Paul Hartley has got Dundee right at the top of the division, but if he doesn't take them up then you don't have an Edinburgh, Glasgow or Dundee derby in the top division. But it means there will be some big, big games in the Championship.

"Winning promotion is never going to be a formality for us, absolutely not. We've always guarded against that. It's other people's jobs to predict what will happen.

"We never even thought for a minute this year would be a formality - although we've been delighted with our results and how it's panned out.

"We played Falkirk in the Scottish Cup and needed to score two late goals in order to win and go through to the next round.

"The quality of the opposition will be greater next term and so it's not any given we will run away with that league, or that we will win it. We've never taken anything for granted and we never will."

Football

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