Rangers boss Kenny McDowall wary of testing trip to Recreation Park

Dean Shiels is in the squad to face Alloa on Saturday
Dean Shiels is in the squad to face Alloa on Saturday

At the end of a week when the battle for control of the club has intensified, Rangers on Saturday afternoon return to the scene of their worst nightmare of the past three years – Recreation Park, Alloa.

Less than six weeks ago the Ibrox men crashed out of the Challenge Cup after leading 2-0 with 18 minutes remaining against a part-time team – a defeat that surely spelled the end of the road for former manager Ally McCoist.

In three meetings so far during the current campaign Rangers have incredibly failed to defeat the Warriors even once with both League meetings ending in 1-1 draws.

“It’s a tough place to go – they’ve had good results against us but they’ve also hadgood results against other teams as well,” said current boss Kenny McDowall.

“They work hard, it’s simple and that is what makes them a hard team to play.

“We’ll expect a tough game but it’s a game we know we can win if we go there with the right attitude and get after them.”

McDowall spoke highly of his Recreation Park counterpart Barry Smith.

“Barry has done a great job and got them working hard and we need to match that this weekend plus give a wee bit more,” he added.

“It’s important to win every game here and Saturday is no different – there’s three points up for grabs.”

It is fair to say that the artificial surface in Clackmannanshire is not exactly a favourite with the Light Blues – there was some scathing comments from the ‘Gers players following the 1-1 draw back in September when only a late David Templeton equaliser salvaged a point for the visitors.

There was less said about the pitch at the time of the semi-final defeat at the beginning of December – possibly due to embarrassment.

“We’re not going to make the pitch an excuse and we’ve spoken to the players regarding it,” McDowall added.

“They appreciate that the Alloa players have to play on it so we must too – the surface is only an excuse if you want it to be.

“We need to turn up prepared to win the game, which we will do.”

Rangers have no fresh injuries for Saturday’s trip to Alloa.

Defender Marius Zaliukas is back training with the first team after shaking off a knee injury but goalkeeper Cammy Bell (shoulder) is still not fit enough to feature.

Provisional squad: Simonsen, Wallace, Mohsni, McGregor, Shiels, McCulloch, Clark, Law, Black, Templeton, Peralta, Boyd, Robinson, Faure, Miller, Crawford, Daly, Foster, Aird, Hardie, Zaliukas.