DJ: Rangers will find it tough at the top

ALLY McCoist wants to bring in new players as he prepares for the step up to the SPFL Championship next season.

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Ally McCoist wants to add to squad while Graham Wallace targets cutbacks
Ally McCoist wants to add to squad while Graham Wallace targets cutbacks

The Ibrox chief executive Graham Wallace, meanwhile, is keen to cut costs at a club whose outgoings are currently exceeding their income.

I can understand the position of both. Ally knows he has to strengthen his squad with quality players for the step up to the higher division, never mind the Premiership.

That was shown in the 1-1 draw with Stranraer at Ibrox on Boxing Day.

He may well get the Govan club into the top flight with the personnel he currently has at his disposal.

But once they get there they have to challenge Celtic for the Scottish title. Finishing mid-table is not enough.

Crowds of over 45,000 at Ibrox will not accept their team just being able to hold their own.

As things stand, Rangers are some distance away from being able to compete in the top division. At the same time, I appreciate they can't go on haemorrhaging cash. They have limited funds and have to stop their spending.

I imagine there will be players who are not getting a regular game leaving both in January and in the summer.

I think this situation highlights that new investment is needed and needed quickly.

The requisitioners stated that two fresh cash injections would be required before Rangers returned to the Premiership.

I am sure Ally will be crossing his fingers and hoping that Dave King, or another investor, ploughs more money into the club.

If no new investment is forthcoming in the months ahead then there are going to be problems.

Celtic have lavished a lot of money on international players and are by far and away the best team in the country.

Unless Rangers match their outlay then they will not be able to challenge them.

The chief executive is right to run the club prudently. Yet, the fans have to be appeased or they will grow restless.

Rangers were poor against Stranraer. Yes, they had not played in nearly three weeks. But they cannot use that as an excuse.

You could argue they should have been fresh because they had been resting for 19 days.

I thought it was their worst performance this season. They were totally flat. There was no inspiration in the side.

Stranraer, on the other hand, were different class. You could understand why they had gone eight games undefeated.

They were solid at the back and up front they gave Cammy Bell a hard time. When a part-time side are 1-0 down at Ibrox they won't give up.

They keep going to the bitter end to get a goal. To be fair to Stranraer, they deserved it for how they played.

Rangers could have killed Stranraer off. Nicky Law hit the bar from 25 yards and David Templeton should have done better with his chip.

But they were not sharp enough on the day. Too many were off form at the same time.

No matter what league Rangers are in, if they have an off day and the opposition play well then they will drop points.

Other teams in League One will get a lift from seeing Stranraer get a point at Ibrox.

But people should be careful not to go over the top about this result.

I thought Lee Wallace, once again, played well. But nobody else in the team got pass marks. I am sure Ally took the paint off the walls in the dressing room at half-time.

They looked as if they had stuffed themselves with turkey 24 hours previously. Stranraer were far more up for it.

Rangers had been on a 20-game winning run in all competitions. It was there best streak since World War II.

But they have to forget about that and look to bounce back against Dunfermline at East End Park on Monday. They will be formidable opponents.

I imagine Ally will make a few changes. He will have been bitterly disappointed with the attitude of his charges in front of a big crowd at Ibrox on Boxing Day.

The draw felt like a defeat. The crowd's reaction at the final whistle - they booed their players off the park - told a story.

It is unacceptable and, despite their comfortable lead at the top of the table, there just has to be a positive response from the players on Monday night.

Football

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