FORMER Rangers star Gordon Dalziel today backed the Light Blues' SPL contingent to win over the Ibrox crowd – just like boss Ally McCoist did.

Despite recruiting a host of high-profile players last summer, McCoist has seen his side often flatter to deceive in the Irn-Bru Third Division and crash out of the domestic cup competitions to Queen of the South, Inverness Caley Thistle and Dundee United.

Big-money stars such as Dean Shiels, Fran Sandaza and Ian Black, who was sent off in the closing stages of a poor performance at Tannadice on Saturday, have attracted the anger of the Light Blue legions.

But former Ger Dalziel insists the quality can shine through from McCoist's under-performing top names.

He said: "Ian, like all the players, will be professional enough to scrutinise his own performances this season.

"We have seen it plenty of times when players make the step to a club like Rangers.

"When you are at Hearts, and that is no disrespect to them, you can have one outstanding game and three average games, but when you are at Rangers you can't do that.

"You have to perform week in week out. When guys like Black, Shiels, Sandaza and Templeton were signed, everyone thought it was good business.

"At this moment in time, they have done enough in the league, but the cups have shown Rangers how far away they are from where they want to be.

"It is not just down to Ian Black, although a lot of people have been critical of him.

"If you look at the weekend, Dean Shiels, who was in the running to be Player of the Year in Scotland last year, was virtually non-existent in the game.

"I remember a lot of players – and one of them was Ally when he came to Rangers at first – that didn't really set the heather on fire in his first few months at the club and some fans were giving him stick. He went on to be a legend at Ibrox.

"Sometimes we are a bit hasty and jump on the bandwagon. Maybe we need to wait and see how they progress.

"Ally bought them in good faith hoping they would do a job for him and they can still be good players for Rangers."

While McCoist's side have seen off top-flight high flyers Motherwell this season, they were well beaten by both Caley Thistle and United.

Saturday's Tannadice flop was one of their poorest performances of the campaign and Dalziel knows the expectation levels are not being met. He said: "Ally would have brought these guys in to get SPL standard performances.

"Listening to him after the game, you can tell he is disappointed with the performances from his so-called big players.

"He has brought in players from the SPL and they are under extreme scrutiny. People say that they are high earners and should be doing better and Ally will not hide from that. There have got to be better peformances from the SPL players soon."

It is not just the Ibrox squad who are under pressure to raise their game, with fans now looking to see what McCoist is made of as a boss.

Dalziel said: "The manager has been a Rangers man for a long time, he is a legend at the club.

"He knows the standards Rangers players have to set and he will let the players know what is expected of them. He knows that everything stops at his door and he has to take responsibility for how the team is doing."