Rangers' Ally McCoist hails his players' desire to win

Rangers manager Ally McCoist and assistant Kenny McDowall
Rangers manager Ally McCoist (left) spent an anxious afternoon on the touchline

Rangers manager Ally McCoist hailed his side's winning mentality after they defeated Inverness Caley Thistle 2-1 despite an under-par display.

"We will work on things like the team shape and set-pieces, but there are things just as important that you can't work on, and they are all mental.

"Belief, hunger and desire are as important as anything.

"We have always had them in abundance and they will certainly be required to retain the championship."

A dramatic late strike by substitute Kyle Lafferty took the champions seven points clear of Celtic at the top of the table, but again it was an uncomfortable afternoon for the champions.

Defender Carlos Bocanegra shot the home side into the lead in the 55th minute before former Rangers midfielder Andrew Shinnie, on as substitute for Greg Tansey, levelled.

"I'm not sure whether we are waiting for things to happen instead of making things happen," said McCoist.

"In the second half, I was far happier with the attitude and performance, but we could have scored goals and we could have lost goals.

"Thankfully, we got the break at the right time."

McCoist admits his side's apparent reticence at Ibrox means he is "comfortable" playing the Old Firm game on 28 December at Celtic Park.

"It is bizarre," said the former Rangers striker.

"I am not saying I would rather have an Old Firm game away from home than at home, but we certainly look to be a wee bit more comfortable away from home in terms of creating chances and going about our business.

"I think the Celtic game will look after itself in that respect - the next game is St Mirren away and we are not looking any further than that."

The Ibrox fans booed at Caley Thistle's equaliser because Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic had been down injured in the lead-up, but McCoist had no problems with Richie Foran playing on.

"I thought Richie Foran was spot on," he said.

"He got the ball and was going to boot it out and my reading of the situation was that Nikica was getting to his feet, although a bit shaken.

"So I have no problem with Richie Foran playing on. In fact, I would have expected my own players to do the same."

McCoist confirmed discussions about a new deal for Lafferty were on-going.

"We have spoken to Kyle and his representative and, hopefully, I don't see any problems," he added.

"I don't think there is an immediate rush, but obviously I am very keen for him to stay, the good news is he wants to stay, so hopefully there is a deal to be done."

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