ALLY McCoist today defended his decision to criticise the SPFL for forcing Rangers to play three away games in just six days over new year.

McCoist received flak over the weekend after lambasting the governing body for the hectic schedule of fixtures the Ibrox club had to fulfil. And Stenhousemuir striker John Gemmell abused him on Twitter with a foul-mouthed tirade. But Gemmell's comments came back to haunt him as his part-time side slumped to a 2-0 defeat in a League One game at Ochilview yesterday.

And McCoist, whose side moved 17 points clear at the top of the third tier league table with the win, stressed he had no regrets about his outburst. He said: "I think he (Gemmell) and a lot of others missed the point. My gripe was about the fans being asked to travel at this time of year. I think he maybe read the situation a little bit wrongly.

" I wasn't complaining about the amount of games the players were being asked to play.

"I was complaining about our fans being asked to travel to a game that could have been put back to a midweek and then to Forfar on a Monday night.

"It was more about the fans. What he said was probably a bit ill-judged. But I am certainly not going to throw the toys out of the pram.

"He came up to me before the game and said: 'You know what I meant didn't you?' To which I replied: 'Not really!' But it doesn't matter.

"I get called worse in the house. The really concerning thing for me was that about 60 per cent of our dressing room agreed with him! But we're all big boys. We'll just get on with it.

"I am fed up saying to our lads to watch themselves on Twitter. In the flick of a switch their comments are global.

"It just seems another instrument to get them into trouble. I am not a fan of Twitter."

Meanwhile, McCoist has admitted that Rangers midfielder Arnold Peralta deserved to be sent off in the first half of the win over Stenhousemuir.

The Honduran internationalist received a straight red card from referee Bobby Madden for a late challenge on Eddie Malone just before half-time.

And the Glasgow club struggled to kill off the challenge of their opponents in the second half after being reduced to 10 men by the match official.

The sending off follows Bilel Mohsni's midweek red card against Airdrie. McCoist said: "My first reaction was that it was a booking, but I have to be honest, it was probably a red.

"It was very high and the ref was well-placed to see it. It did set us back a bit. It changes our whole outlook on the game. It was frustrating and disappointing.

"It is another player we will be missing now which is not ideal either."