by a Sunday Express Reporter
ALLY McCOIST used half-time in the opening SPL clash with Hearts – his competitive debut as manager – to remind his Rangers players about the qualities that have taken them to three titles in a row.
Rangers were outplayed in the first 45 minutes and went behind to David Obua’s 15th-minute free header.
But after McCoist’s pep talk they stormed back, equalised through Steven Naismith and might even have gone on to win.
Yet the manager accepted a draw was about right. “I asked them to lift it and remember what had given them success and I was pleased with the reaction,” he said.
“We could have nicked it but that would have been an injustice to Hearts. They played well in the first half when David Templeton turned our back four.
“I was disappointed in that first half because we never got going. We were better after half-time after we made changes. Juanma Ortiz went into an inside left position and Naisy to inside right.”
Rangers were certainly a different side and for the first time Ortiz looked as if he could yet make an impact.
“He did better, like all the team,” said McCoist, who paid tribute to keeper Allan McGregor and stand-in captain Steven Davis.
“Allan had a couple of great saves. That’s why he’s on a long contract,” he said. “Steven is all you want in a captain, leading by example.”
McCoist then turned his attentions to the Champions League qualifier against Malmo on Tuesday when he hopes to have a new player – most likely Dorin Goian of Palermo – signed.
“We hope to do business in time for that but, apart from getting one in, which we are allowed to do, we need more players,” he insisted.
“But it won’t be a case of me needing to lift them. We’ve just had a 1-1 draw against a good team.
“We’ll simply regroup and get on with a vital match.”
Courtesy of the Scottish Sunday Express