INVERNESS Courier columnist Charlie Christie on the problems facing Rangers manager Ally McCoist and his hopes of seeing several Highland League club progress in the Scottish Cup.
IT was interesting viewing watching manager Ally McCoist’s post-match interview after Rangers 1-1 draw at Berwick Rangers.
McCoist is a true legend in football terms and a great guy on top of that. It is not often you will see him look as angry as he did after the full-time whistle, but it was really no surprise as, yet again, several ‘top’ players who earn vast salaries struggled to overcome their part-time opponents.
After their struggles at Brechin and Peterhead, it really does pose the question why are Rangers players finding life so difficult in the bottom league?
McCoist questioned individual motivation and attitudes and if he is correct then those players should hang their heads in shame. Players training at the superb Murray Park Complex on a daily basis and earning salaries comparable to Scottish Premier League players should not find it difficult to give everything for their club for 90 minutes a week and reward the supporters who have stuck with them through very trying times.
Indeed, had former Ross County apprentice Chris Townsley’s late headed effort for Berwick not been wrongly disallowed then Rangers would have left with nothing.
McCoist has stated that he needs to add to his squad due to lack of numbers, but it will be the questionable attitude of his current squad that will concern him most.
Elgin City visit Ibrox this weekend and what an experience for boss Ross Jack and his players. Elgin currently sit top of the table and should thoroughly enjoy playing in front of 40,000 or so who will be there.
Jack will have his players well prepared, but it will be vital they handle the occasion if they want to give themselves any chance of adding to Rangers woes.
Much will depend on the attitude of the Rangers players, but with McCoist’s recent criticisms ringing in their ears, I would expect a far better display from those in blue who have under-performed so far for their club.
WHAT a dream draw for Highland League side Forres Mechanics as they entertain Rangers in the Scottish Cup second round in late September.
It is a fitting reward for the Can Cans after last season’s first title win in 26 years and the small Moray town will be buzzing at the thought of taking on Rangers.
The rest of the second round draw threw up some intriguing ties as the cup minnows look to progress to the third round and a possible crack at one of the SPL clubs who enter at that stage.
Two good friends of mine — Iain Polworth and legendary ICT manager Steve Paterson — do battle as Clach entertain Formartine and with both teams making very good starts to the season it is a difficult match to predict.
Nairn manager Les Fridge will go back to one of his former clubs as the Wee County visit Clyde and there promises to be a cracking East coast tie as Deveronvale host Peterhead.
I wish all the Highland clubs the very best of luck and hope to see as many of them as possible in the third round draw.