Ally McCoist keeps his eye on the ball after league success

Rangers manager Ally McCoist
Rangers manager Ally McCoist

The League One title has been won – and with a crucial Scottish Cup Quarter Final replay against Albion Rovers fast approaching on Monday Ally McCoist and Rangers would be forgiven for allowing their focus to wander from this afternoon’s visit of Dunfermline Athletic to Ibrox.

The Rangers manager will have none of it however – with a near-capacity full house present the Light Blues will be all out to maintain their unbeaten record and chalk up another victory against their nearest rivals

“We are totally focused on this afternoon’s game. We can’t take our eyes off the ball because it will continue to be very difficult but we are enjoying the challenge. Nights like Wednesday make it all worthwhile.

“The support we got once again gave us a real boost. Anyone who was there in midweek will have seen well over 40,000 fans at the match. To have that crowd on a Wednesday night when Barcelona and Manchester City were live on television was unbelievable.”

Andy Little and David Templeton are both unavailable both for today and Monday, having suffered thigh and groin injuries respectively in Wednesday’s title – winning 3-0 triumph over Airdrieonians. Both will go for scans next week.

On Monday evening Rangers will be playing their fourth match in nine days. Lewis Macleod remains unavailable due to a virus – but Northern Ireland Under- 21 Internationalist Chris Hegarty, who of course netted the Ibrox side’s first goal of the League One campaign against Brechin City in August, may feature.

Youngsters Charlie Telfer, Craig Halkett and Calum Gallagher are also likely to be involved.

Dunfermline lie second in the division with 54 points from 28 games – and were on a four-match winning run before a 1-3 reversal at Stranraer two weeks ago. The ‘Pars’ have already suffered three defeats for the loss of fifteen goals in League and Cup this season at the hands of the Ibrox men and will be desperate to take something from this afternoon’s fixture.

McCoist however did allow himself the luxury of looking ahead to the Championship campaign next season.

“We’ve got the job done this year and have done it comfortably with eight games to go. We’ve achieved our target just as we did last year in terms of winning the league and getting promotion. We’re aware of the fact it’s going to be very difficult next year but we are on target to achieve what we need to do. It’s going to be a tough and entertaining League next season but it’s one which we will be looking to do well in. I’ve seen quite a lot of the Championship and I’ve seen the majority of teams - it’s a very good level of football.”