Rangers cash woes caused form slump, says Steven Davis

Davis has much to contemplate in training ahead of the Old Firm derby
Davis has much to contemplate in training ahead of the Old Firm derby

Rangers captain Steven Davis admits the club's financial problems have had a detrimental impact on the pitch.

Ally McCoist's side, who host champions in waiting Celtic on Sunday, have lost three out of four matches since going into administration last month.

"There's no doubt everything happening off the pitch has affected us mentally on it," said captain Davis.

"You've maybe seen that at times, but we just need to try to get back to winning ways."

Celtic could clinch the title at the home of their biggest rivals should Motherwell, who are level on points with second-top Rangers, fail to beat Kilmarnock on Saturday afternoon.

But, no matter the scenario, Davis views the derby as a good opportunity for the reigning champions to put their troubles behind them.

"There is going to be a good atmosphere at Ibrox and the match is an opportunity for us to beat our nearest rivals, so we'll be giving it our all to get a good result," he told Rangers' website.

"There's such a fine line in these fixtures, but we know we can beat Celtic. We'll be at home and we'll be doing our best to come out on top."

McCoist has had meetings with two of the four bidders for Rangers
McCoist has had meetings with two of the four bidders for Rangers

Midfielders Gregg Wylde, Mervan Celik, Matt McKay, club captain David Weir and top scorer Nikica Jelavic have all left Rangers since the turn of the year as costs were cut.

While the depleted squad has been blamed for Rangers' downturn in form, Davis, who has worn the armband for most of the season with Weir out of the first-team before he left Ibrox in January, blames the financial uncertainty.

The Northern Ireland midfielder had to take a lead role in negotiations that led to players taking wage cuts of up to 75% in order to prevent widespread redundancies among the squad and general workforce.

"It has been a real learning experience and I've obviously felt the responsibility as captain to try to guide some of the younger players through it all," he said.

"It has been a difficult period, but hopefully there are positives we can draw from the experience because there's a real togetherness in our squad.

"Hopefully this weekend we can put a smile on the fans' faces again because they have been great to us."

Meanwhile, McCoist has emerged positive from meetings with two of the four bidders for Rangers.

McCoist this week met again with Sale Sharks owner Brian Kennedy and former Rangers director Paul Murray, who heads the Blue Knights consortium.

"Both of those gentlemen are very interested and have bids in to purchase the club," said the team manager.

"And the meetings I had were very extremely positive and very beneficial.

"From a supporter's point of view - if I can put my supporter's hat on - I would have to say that I've been very impressed by both gentlemen.

"Certainly I would not have any problems at all with either of the gentlemen taking over."

Chicago-based Club 9 Sports are the other confirmed bidders, while a mystery overseas syndicate has also indicated its interest to administrator Duff and Phelps.

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