Rangers boss Ally McCoist keen to avoid Celtic in League Cup

Rangers manager Ally McCoist
Rangers manager Ally McCoist was relieved to see Lewis Macleod's header hit the back of the net at Ibrox

Rangers manager Ally McCoist admits he hopes to avoid a draw against Celtic after his side beat St Johnstone 1-0 to reach the League Cup semi-finals.

Their Glasgow rivals take on Partick Thistle in their quarter-final on Wednesday.

"When you get to the semis, you can't really pick and choose," said McCoist.

"We all know who the favourites will be to pick up the domestic trophies, so in that respect I would take anybody but Celtic."

Aberdeen, Hamilton, Celtic, Partick Thistle, Hibs and Dundee United's ties will all be decided on Wednesday night, with the draw for the semi-finals taking place on Saturday afternoon live on BBC ONE Scotland.

Depending on the outcome of Celtic's tie against Partick Thistle, Rangers could potentially face Ronny Deila's side for the first time since April 2012.

Saints were the second Scottish Premiership side to be beaten by Rangers in the competition this season after Inverness Caledonian Thistle lost at Ibrox in the second round.

But McCoist thought his side, who sit second behind Hearts in the Championship table, would be up against it should they face the Scottish champions.

"It doesn't take rocket science to work it out it would maybe - and it doesn't guarantee you - be a better chance of reaching the final," he said.

"If we did get Celtic, it would be a very, very tough game and it would be stating the obvious to say we would be the underdogs. But the underdogs can sometimes win."

The last time the teams met was in the Scottish Premier League in April 2012, when Celtic won 3-0.

Rangers manager Ally McCoist
"If we did get Celtic, it would be a very, very tough game and it would be stating the obvious to say we would be the underdogs."

Rangers edged out St Johnstone thanks to midfielder Lewis Macleod's header four minutes from the end of normal time, though there were also six minutes of injury time largely due to the shoulder injury sustained by Rangers goalkeeper Steve Simonsen.

Both teams threatened the opposition goal but only occasionally, with Frazer Wright heading over from close range and Michael O'Halloran and Brian Graham having a shot and header saved respectively.

For Rangers, Alan Mannus blocked a Kris Boyd shot and substitute Jon Daly hit the post before 20-year-old Macleod's glancing winner sent the Rangers fans in the 13,023 crowd home happy.

Meanwhile, McCoist revealed he was yet to Derek Llambias, who has joined the club as a consultant along with Barry Leach following the departures of chief executive Graham Wallace and director Philip Nash.

"I haven't met Derek yet," said the manager. "But I look forward to doing so."

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