Saturday afternoon’s visit of Arbroath to Ibrox is the day Ally McCoist has been patiently waiting for since the start of the season.
McCoist will be able to pick from all eight of his summer signings for the League Two clash after the club’s transfer ban came to an end.
The Glasgow giants had been barred from fielding any more than two of their new additions as trialists until after a registration embargo was lifted on September 1 but Cammy Bell, Nicky Law, Jon Daly, Nicky Clark, Arnold Peralta, Steven Smith, Richard Foster and Bilel Mohsni are all now free to play.
“We now have healthy competition within the squad,” McCoist said.
“ We’ve got a few selectionheadaches but that has always been the case at this club and I think it is of paramount importance we have that again.
“The players who have been playing deserve to retain their place if they’ve been playing well.
“There will always be disappointed players not in the team – but the important thing is that we all stay together.
“I’ve seen a real eagerness amongst the players to get going and I said to the boys today I’m really enjoying training at the moment.
“The standard of the football is competitive and it’s good. The quality within our training sessions is definitely up on last year.”
Meanwhile, McCoist does not believe Ian Black will have anything to prove to the Ibrox support after he admitted betting against his own team.
Black was fined £7,500 and handed a 10-game ban – seven of which have been suspended for a year – after admitting placing three bets that the side he was playing for would not win and gambling on 10 other matches involving his then club.
The former Hearts midfielder’s charges related to a seven-year period stretching back to his Inverness days, while he was also warned over making 147 bets on matches not involving his team, which breaches the SFA’s zero-tolerance rules on gambling.
“The decision has been made, Ian has been punished and we’ll move on now,” he said.
“I’ve actually seen every one of his bets and I certainly don’t have a problem with Ian Black playing for Rangers again. Not at all.
“I genuinely – rightly or wrongly – don’t have an issue with it. I can understand arguments for and against but I know the lad. There is no problem with his commitment to our club in every game.
“Ian has been working unbelievably hard and I think he has arguably been one of our best players so far this season.
“Craig Mather, myself and Ian have sat down and had a chat. Disciplinary action has been taken but it’s an internal matter and that’s the way it will remain.”
Northern Ireland striker Andy Little returns from injury having missed the Light Blues’ last outing prior tothe International break – a five-goal mauling of East Fife at Ibrox.
He may well line up wide right with Jon Daly partnering Nicky Clark up front.
Little will certainly be keen to continue his scoring streak, having netted in each of his last three outings.
Meanwhile, Rangers have announced the signing of 34-year-old goalkeeper SteveSimonsen as experienced understudy to Cammy Bell with Scott Gallacher and Andy Mitchell going out on loan to Airdrieonians and Annan Athletic respectively.
Ally McCoist is hopeful that there is at least one more signing to come with formerHearts captain Marius Zaliukas and Bosnian defender Boris Pandza in his sights.