ALLY McCOIST is confident Rangers are making good progress as the Light Blues shine at League One and Under-20 level.
The Gers boss could lead his side to an unprecedented Treble this term - with a runaway third-tier lead they are in the Ramsdens Cup final and the Scottish Cup quarter- finals. Gordon Durie's Murray Park kids have also been in superb form.
McCoist said: "Walter Smith went on record as saying we were going to have two or three years of really hard times.
"I would absolutely echo and agree with that, but within the hard times, you'd hopefully have one or two opportunities to smile about and be happy about.
"At this moment in time, I'd probably say we have one of them. I'm loath to tempt fate, but the team is still top of the league and going really well there."
He emphasised the need for realism, but added: "Certainly, if you're a Rangers supporter, you can maybe take a wee step back, look back at the overall picture and be fairly happy at the moment. I hope that's the case."
Rangers will hope to take another step towards two-in-a-row with victory over Ayr United this weekend as they bid to extend their unbeaten run.
McCoist will be without defenders Lee McCulloch and Bilel Mohsni for the Somerset Park clash, but is likely to opt for experience over youth as the likes of Richard Foster and Emilson Cribari wait in the Ibrox wings.