McCoist the man as important as the manager for Rangers

YOU are never more than a couple of games from a crisis as Rangers manager.

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Ally McCoist, pictured with assistant Kenny McDowall, has come in for criticism for his inflexible approach to selection and tactics
Ally McCoist, pictured with assistant Kenny McDowall, has come in for criticism for his inflexible approach to selection and tactics

Ally McCoist must feel like he is always just 90 minutes away, though.

If you are only as good as your latest game, then Rangers have serious work to do.

If your next game is your most important, the significance of Falkirk on Friday night cannot be underestimated for the team or manager.

Defeat to Hearts on Sunday wasn't fatal for Rangers' chances of winning the Championship title this season but it piled yet more pressure on a squad and a boss that have suffered their fair share of friendly fire just two games in.

The calls for McCoist to be sacked in the aftermath of the first Championship fixture of the season were once again premature as emotions spilled over in the heat of the moment and the manager became the obvious lightning rod for the fury from supporters.

If Rangers were to slip up against Falkirk this week, and fail to beat Clyde comfortably in the League Cup next Monday, the shouts for McCoist to go from his most vocal detractors will reach a crescendo.

They will be heard but are unlikely to be acted upon.

The man that doesn't do walking away will remain confident that he can guide Rangers to a third straight title.

And those in the boardroom cannot afford, either in a financial sense or from a fan relation perspective, to dispense with the services of a figure who few can fault as a Ranger.

Some supporters, and perhaps an increasing number, are convinced is not cut out to be their manager, though.

McCoist is not bombproof at Ibrox and should be held accountable for his mistakes, of which there have been several during a tenure like no other boss has experienced.

But there is little chance, for now at least, that he won't continue in the dugout.

His relationship with Graham Wallace has often become strained but the chief executive has more pressing matters to attend to than McCoist.

In the grand scheme of things at Ibrox, decisions to stick with Ian Black and Nicky Law or play Lewis Macleod wide right are trivial.

The bigger picture is still not a pretty one at Ibrox.

The boardroom bickering and back page headlines give McCoist an excuse when things go wrong but they can only be used for so long to mask failings in the dugout and on the pitch.

The evidence is stacking up for those who believe that McCoist is not the man to complete this season, never mind lead Rangers on their return to the Premiership, most likely, and crucially, next season.

His stubbornness in selection, sticking with his tried and trusted stars, and tactical approach have attracted criticism from many as the level of performance attained has not matched the ability of players at his disposal or the standards demanded from an expecting fanbase in recent years.

One day, when McCoist is operating in a more stable environment, the shortcomings many see in his management, and indeed his position, will be more closely scrutinised.

But with Rangers still lurching from day to day in the financial mire, McCoist the man is just as important as McCoist the manager.

After all the Gers' record goalscorer has done for the club, he deserves a chance to complete what he has started.

Football

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