THE decision to take Rangers to a four-star hotel to prepare for the SPFL League One game against Forfar hit the headlines this week.

The Ibrox club is, of course, operating at a loss, and chief executive Graham Wallace has embarked on a series of cost-cutting measures.

But I still think Ally McCoist was exactly right to prepare his side for the game at Station Park in the manner that he did.

Remember, this is Rangers Football Club we are talking about here.

The players have to prepare for each game they play as professionally as they can. They have done exactly that for the last 141 years.

Unless the chief executive, or somebody high up on the financial side of the business, says not to, then the manager should continue to do that.

The best preparation for the Rangers players was to go for a meal and then have a rest before heading off to the game. They have done that for years and years.

If Ally had been told Rangers needed to leave Ibrox at 4.30pm on Monday afternoon and go straight to the game at Forfar then he would have done that.

Until Ally is told definitively that, because of cutbacks, he cannot do that, then I do not see anything wrong with continuing to prepare in the most professional fashion.

Ally will always try to do what is best for the players. And the club is nothing without the players.

They need to receive the best treatment before a match to perform at their peak.

Anyway, I have no doubt that if it got out that Rangers had headed straight to the Forfar game then they would have been criticised for not preparing properly or for taking the opposition lightly.

Players at Rangers need to win every game they play whether it is home or away. Anything less than victory will result in flak flying in their direction.

They are undefeated in the league this season and their fans are still giving them stick. Their performances recently have not, it must be said, been great.

But they are so far ahead in the league - they moved 20 points ahead of Dunfermline after their 2-0 win the other night - that motivation must be a factor.

I know people will say: "But look at the money they're getting paid! What do they need motivated for? That should be enough motivation for them!"

But everybody needs extra motivation to perform. Across the other side of the city, Celtic have also not been at their best because they are so far ahead in the league.

They have played well in their last two games and have won both of them comfortably. But in the three games before that they only won 1-0.

Neil Lennon's side is so far ahead in the SPFL Premiership that it is difficult for them to raise themselves every week, too.

The crowds are also dwindling at Parkhead. The fans know it is a foregone conclusion who will win the league. The players see that as well and it is hard for them to get themselves going. They know if they are beaten it is no big deal. They are still going to win the title by a comfortable margin.

I think the quicker that Rangers can win the league the better. Then the players who have not been featuring in the side will then get a run in the team and the chance to show their manager what there are capable of.

They will be fighting for their futures. Having meaningless games to play at the end of the season will allow Ally to field these guys and help him to make up his mind on them.

David Templeton is one of the players who needs a run in the team. He has admitted himself his confidence is low. He has been injured and has been out a long time.

But he showed the quality he has with his late goal at Forfar. It was the first time he has shown what he is able to do for quite a while.

But David has not been featuring in the team regularly. It is very difficult to make an impression on a game if you are just coming on for the last 10 or 15 minutes.

Against Forfar he cut in from the left, beat a few rival players and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the net. That is what, on his day, he is able to produce.

He is in exactly the same position as Dean Shiels. If he feels he should be playing regularly then it is up to him to go and speak to the manager and ask him: "Am I in your plans?"

A few players at the club, the likes of Jon Daly, Lee McCulloch and Lee Wallace, for example, are pretty much guaranteed a place in the side every week if they are fully fit. But the vast majority are not.

If Templeton feels he should be playing and he is not getting a regular game, then it is up to him to decide what he should do.

But the bottom line is that, like a few of his team- mates, he has got two years left on his contract and is on good money. No other club in Scotland will match it apart from Celtic.

He may well decide that he needs to be playing football every week if he continues not to feature. Everybody reacts differently. Some players go in the huff. Some will ask to leave.

But I think the manager would like to see David continue to take his chance, like he did the other night, and show him that he deserves to be starting matches.

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