DEREK JOHNSTONE: Ally will suffer window pain

ALLY McCOIST will be envious of every manager up and down the country as the transfer window creaks open.

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McCoist will have to make do with what he has this January due to ban on new signings
McCoist will have to make do with what he has this January due to ban on new signings

At this stage of the season, every boss worth their salt is finalising plans to try and improve their squad for the second half of the campaign.

The transfer window is about to open in a couple of weeks and it brings with it a lot of excitement.

It obviously depends on the circumstances of each club but, for some teams, it will be a case of trying to secure the services of that one player who might just make the difference in the title race or, at the other end of the table, it might be to avoid relegation.

But most managers will have their sights set on a specific player. There might not be a great amount of money in the Irn-Bru Third Division, but I'd be amazed if most of the teams there don't try and sign a player or two.

The only man who won't have that luxury is, of course, McCoist. He will be the one boss in Scotland who won't be able to bolster his squad, apart from young players under the age of 18, which isn't going to help him with the first team.

I would imagine, even although he has known that to be the case for quite some time, McCoist is finding it extremely frustrating.

He probably has his eye on a couple of players who he might feel would be able to come in and make a difference between now and May.

Do I still think Rangers will win the league without any reinforcements? Yes, they've gained a bit of momentum now after a slow start and, even without new faces coming in, they should have more than enough to win the Third Division title.

However, Ally will want to do it with a bit of style and, in an ideal world, he would have liked to have signed a couple of new players at some stage next month.

If he was able to strengthen a particular area, I'm sure he would have tried to bring in a centre-half. There is no getting away from the fact Rangers have been poor at the heart of defence.

They need a dominant stopper who will win headers and make tackles.

He doesn't have to be the most gifted footballer in the world or someone who can play football from the back because that would be up to those around him to do that – just as long as he does what it says on the tin.

There is talk of Dorin Goian coming back and, as long as his performances are far better than they were in the first few games of the season before he was loaned out to Italian side Spezia, then he might solve that problem.

The Romanian was great when he first arrived in Glasgow and proved he could do the business in the SPL so, if his attitude is correct, then he really shouldn't have too much difficulty in dealing with lower-league strikers.

And, I dare say Ally may have liked to have brought another midfielder on board to provide them with an additional bit of quality in there. So, as he watches clubs make the most of the re-opening of the transfer window, I would imagine he'll be a very frustrated manager.

In saying that, though, Rangers can still sign players on pre-contract agreements before waiting until September to register them and I would imagine Ally has a number of players lined up to try and land on Bosman deals.

Motherwell's Jamie Murphy has been mentioned and there are a number of other players at Fir Park who are out of contract who would do a good job for Rangers.

It will be interesting to see just how many SPL players the club could entice.

What such deals will require is a level of funds and the Rangers fans only have until Tuesday lunchtime to invest in Charles Green's share scheme proposal.

There is already a very high level of investment from business people, but the ordinary fan on the street could make all the difference.

I think most of them have now bought into Green's plan to drive the club forward and trust him to do the right thing. If they back such a plan then it might just afford him to provide McCoist with even more money to work with.

Rangers are attracting sell-out crowds this season, the wage bill has been reduced dramatically and the club must now be running at a profit.

So, with additional investment from supporters, then the quality of player available could increase.

The transfer window might be a boring and dull one for Rangers this time around, but who knows what the situation will be during the summer?

I think that is when the fans might really see Ally take things to a new level.


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