Rangers boss Ally McCoist has more problems to solve

Rangers' Fraser Aird celebrates
Rangers' Fraser Aird celebrates

It never rains but it pours – and for Ally McCoist it is currently coming down in torrents as he suffers yet another injury blow with Jon Daly suffering a hamstring strain in the closing stages of Saturday’s 2-1 win over Arbroath.

Concern has also arisen over the health of youngster Lewis MacLeod who has been absent with a virus for some two months. The Rangers manager attempted to explain the midfielder’s condition.

“He has had an uncommon reaction to a common virus that has affected his muscles – including his heart muscles. He’s receiving the best possible treatment and is still able to do some training.”

With two crucial cup-ties now rapidly approaching, an injury list that runs to Andy Little, David Templeton, Ian Black and Nicky Law as well as Daly resources are stretched to the limit for the Ibrox Boss as he acknowledged.

“I’m hoping Jon just didn’t want to take any chances and we’ll assess him in the next couple of days. His goal was a sensational header but we’ll need to listen to Jon and the medical people before we make a call.

“Nicky Law will be given every opportunity – as will Ian Black – to prove his fitness but injuries are coming at a bad time for us.

“There’s never a good time to get injuries of course but the number of them ahead of two big cup games is hardly ideal.”

Equally Ally was far from happy with Saturday’s performance despite the win.

“I was disappointed with the dip we had after half-time. Our general play was a bit disappointing in the second half but we have 29 wins and two draws in 31 league games so we’re doing great.

“We were definitely happier with the three points than we were with the performance but we need to win games and there are plenty of ways to skin a cat.

“On better days, better surfaces and in better conditions we will pass the ball better but we were solid enough and could have added to our lead.

“There were a lot of similarities to last week against Brechin. The fiery pitch wa similar.

“It was important we played the game in Arbroath’s half and tried to turn their back four which we did to a certain degree, although we could have been more effective.”

There was modified praise for match-winner Fraser Aird, who not only scored the late winner but also provided the cross for Jon Daly’s opener and struck the underside of the crossbar with a stunning 25-yard drive.

“Fraser was miles better in the first half than he was in the second and I’ve just had a wee chat with him about that - but I did finish by saying he kept going, he kept taking the ball and he got his reward with a goal at the end.

“You are going to get inconsistencies - particularly with the younger players - but it’s really important that they keep going and keep learning. Fraser is doing that.”

Paul McManus’ equaliser for Arbroath was the first goal conceded on the road outside of Brechin in League One fixtures – although doubt remains as to whether the striker was offside.

“The goal we lost was just bizarre but thankfully we kept going and we were able to go on and get the winner.”