Old Firm win eases Rangers' tensions - Ally McCoist

McCoist (centre) celebrates as his side head for victory over their Glasgow rivals
McCoist (centre) celebrates as his side head for victory over their Glasgow rivals

Delighted Rangers manager Ally McCoist says he felt the weight of the club's troubles fall from his shoulders during a thrilling 3-2 win over rivals Celtic.

Victory for the administration-hit club delayed their neighbours' Scottish title party for at least another week.

"There certainly was a release of tension today because we wanted to win that game so much for our support," McCoist told BBC Scotland.

"Through these troubled times, they have been absolutely fantastic."

He added: "I thought the atmosphere within the stadium was absolutely incredible.

"The Rangers and Celtic games sometimes get a bit of stick and not enough credit, but I've been to football games throughout the world and that atmosphere today takes a bit of beating.

"It has given everybody within the club a real, real boost. But, as I've said all along, the most important thing is the future of the football club long-term. "Hopefully, in the next two or three weeks, we can get that established and get back on the track and going in the right direction."

McCoist praised the players and supporters at Ibrox
McCoist praised the players and supporters at Ibrox

Rangers were cruising thanks to goals from Sone Aluko, Andy Little and Lee Wallace against a Celtic side reduced to 10 men after they had Cha Du-Ri and Victor Wanyama sent off.

But Carlos Bocanegra was also shown a red card with a minute to go, Scott Brown pulled one back from the resulting penalty and Thomas Rogne's stoppage-time header made for a dramatic finale.

"I was absolutely delighted - for about 87 minutes," stressed McCoist. "I felt we just had a crazy five minutes and that was it.

"I thought we dominated the game. I thought we were by far the better team and I don't think the scoreline reflects the true amount of possession and chances we had.

"I am not complaining as I have always said the result is by far the more important thing."

McCoist adopted an atypical back three formation and was delighted that work in training to find space behind lone striker Lee McCulloch for opening scorer Aluko helped give Rangers an early advantage.

The manager praised 19-year-old midfielder Rhys McCabe, who had kept his place despite several young players involved in last week's defeat by Dundee United finding themselves replaced with more experienced men.

"The kid was great," said McCoist. "He is a very good player and a confident boy and another one who's coming through and we have high hopes for - and that'll probably be a day he won't forget for a long time."

McCoist again insisted that denying the runaway leaders the title at Ibrox had not made victory sweeter.

"They asked did I want to win this one more, did this one mean more to you?" he recalled.

"And the answer is no, because they all have the same feeling and bring out the same emotions and reactions from people."

Top Stories