Rangers may have opened the new campaign with a 2-1 win over Hibernian at Ibrox on Tuesday night in the First Round of the Scottish Challenge Cup – but for Ally McCoist there was certainly no question of getting carried away with one win.
Nicky Law struck an extra-time winner as Rangers toiled their way to victory in the Petrofac Training Cup first round.
The Englishman swept home 11 minutes into the first additional period after the Edinburgh side had done well to frustrate the hosts.
Lewis Macleod fired the Light Blues ahead after 14 minutes before some kamikaze defending allowed Danny Handling to level on the hour mark.
“We can and will do better. There’s certainly bags of room for improvement,” McCoist said.
“We were the better side in the first-half but Hibernian came into it in the second. We were sloppy at the Hibs goal.
“We could have won it with a chance right at the death through Kris Boyd but it needed extra-time and we kept going.
“It was two wonderful finishes from Lewis and Nicky and there was improvement in us but the most important thing was we won the tie.
“The main objective – and particularly in a cup match – was to get through and thankfully we did that. Our hope is we’ll get better and stronger over time. That is what we are aiming to do.”
The turning-point of the game was unquestionably the red card shown to Hibs’ scorer Danny Handling for a late tackle on substitute David Templeton, coming as it did when the visitors were on top.
McCoist acknowledged that the opposition were making the running at that time – but was in no doubt that the referee’s decision was justified.
“We changed our pattern of play when making the substitution from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2. I was concerned at times in the second-half – it was too easy at times for Hibs to play through us,” he added.
“It was a poor tackle for the ordering-off, one of quite a few on Temps.
“The wee fella was absolutely terrific when he came on. David caused them all sorts of problems.”
The Ibrox boss also had issues with referee John Beaton for two penalty decisions that to most onlookers looked like clear spot-kicks.
“I felt we should have had two penalties, for fouls on Lee Wallace and Temps. Sometimes you get them and sometimes you don’t.”
McCoist may have had concerns over certain aspects of last night’s game – but he remained positive as he anticipated the campaign ahead.
“It was a very exciting game. I’m looking forward to the Championship,” he said.
“Let’s not forget everyone is looking forward to the season and telling us we’re going to get tougher games. That certainly proved to be the case tonight.
“It’s going to be a very good League and Hibs, in my opinion, probably played as well tonight as they did on any occasion last season.
“This is a good result for us. Yes, we can play better but I’d be far more worried if I was sitting saying that if we’d lost the game.”