Malmo tie far from over, says Rangers boss McCoist

Rangers manager Ally McCoist
McCoist suffered a first competitive defeat as Rangers manager

Rangers manager Ally McCoist is confident his side can reach the Champions League play-off round despite a surprise 1-0 loss to Malmo.

The home defeat puts the Swedes in firm control of the third qualifying round tie ahead of next week's return leg.

"It's a bad result but by no means is the tie over," said McCoist. "We can come back and win this tie.

"On chances created in that second half, I firmly, firmly believe we'll go over there and score a goal or two."

Malmo took an 18th-minute lead when Daniel Larsson fired past Allan McGregor after Steven Whittaker conceded possession on the edge of his own box.

"We were, again, very disappointing in the first half - that's two games now, both home games," said McCoist, whose side drew 1-1 with Hearts in the Scottish Premier League at the weekend.

"Also, the standard of goal we're losing is not nearly good enough. A free header on Saturday [when David Obua scored for Hearts] and the goal we lost tonight. Although it was a good strike, we should not be losing goals like that.

"On the plus side, I thought there were one or two good individual performances.

"They [Malmo] weren't any better than I expected. We knew they'd be a good side. They're very, very well organised, they've got a couple of boys up front that are very, very quick and they've got tidy enough players in the middle of the park.

Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic
Rangers striker Nikica Jelavic had a frustrating night in front of goal

"We were a lot better in the second half. We did get balls into their box, posed them one or two problems and we could've and should've scored."

McCoist was forced into an early change, replacing captain David Weir, who had a hamstring problem, with Juanma Ortiz but made no further substitutions in the second half.

"We did believe we had a chance of nicking a goal," added McCoist. "We certainly didn't want to lose another goal and the longer the game went I just felt our discipline was going a little bit.

"Our midfield players were getting too far ahead of the ball and there was always the danger of losing another goal, which would have been a massive, massive problem for us.

"We had one or two younger lads on the bench and it's maybe not fair on them, because you can sometimes damage young lads throwing them into that kind of atmosphere and environment."

Meanwhile, McCoist has confirmed an interest in Den Haag player Wesley Verhoek.

"We put a bid in eight or nine days ago for Wesley Verhoek, a wide player who can also play up front, but there's absolutely no progress in it," said the Rangers boss.

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