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  1. Folks, We're looking for some provisional names and numbers for the Gersnet Prediction League ahead of the start of the new season. The winner at the end of the season will get the sought after 'GPL Champion' custom forum rank won by Whosthedado last season and a wee prize as well. So, if you fancy your chances at predicting the results of our games in the SPFL Championship and our games in Cup competitions, then please put your name down by posting "I'm in" (or something like that) on the thread here. Cheers! PS - The exact competition format and rules will be announced within the next week to 10 ten days, but might well follow follow the excellent system put in place and run by Bluebear54 last season.
  2. Folks, Here's the new Gersnet match preview writing schedule for our pre-season games and the forthcoming 2014/15 season up till Christmas. As always, the match previews will be written by volunteers from the forum here on a first come, first served basis. If any of you fancy writing the preview for a certain match just say which one and we'll put your name down for it. _____________________________________________________________ Upcoming: May 20 - Rangers v Hibernian - Premiership Play-Off SF leg 1 - pete May 23 - Hibernian v Rangers - Premiership Play-Off SF leg 2 - ??? _____________________________________________________________ Completed: Aug 05 - Rangers v Hibernian - Challenge Cup - Zappa (done) Aug 10 - Rangers v Hearts - SPFL Championship - 26th of foot (done) Aug 15 - Falkirk v Rangers - SPFL Championship - shorerdbear (done) Aug 18 - Rangers v Clyde - Challenge Cup - Super Cooper (done) Aug 23 - Rangers v Dumbarton - SPFL Championship - Zappa (done) Aug 26 - Queen's Park v Rangers - League Cup R1 - forlanssister (done) Aug 30 - Rangers v Queen of the South - SPFL Championship - Frankie (done) Sep 12 - Raith Rovers v Rangers - SPFL Championship - shorerdbear (done) Sep 16 - Rangers v Inverness CT - League Cup R2 - BrahimHemdani (done) Sep 20 - Alloa Athletic v Rangers - SPFL Championship - Bearman (done) Sep 23 - Falkirk v Rangers - League Cup R3 - no volunteer (done by Zappa) Sep 29 - Rangers v Hibernian - SPFL Championship - Hildy (done) Oct 04 - Livingston v Rangers - SPFL Championship - blueflag (done) Oct 18 - Rangers v Raith Rovers - SPFL Championship - Super Cooper (done) Oct 21 - East Fife v Rangers - Challenge Cup QF - Little General (done) Oct 25 - Dumbarton v Rangers - SPFL Championship - Bearman (done) Oct 28 - Rangers v St Johnstone - League Cup QF - no volunteer Nov 01 - Dumbarton v Rangers - Scottish Cup R3 - no volunteer (done by Frankie) Nov 04 - Cowdenbeath v Rangers - SPFL Championship - SteveC (done) Nov 08 - Rangers v Falkirk - SPFL Championship - shorerdbear (done) Nov 15 - Rangers v Alloa Athletic - SPFL Championship - Zappa (done) Nov 22 - Hearts v Rangers - SPFL Championship - Hildy (done) Nov 30 - Rangers v Kilmarnock - Scottish Cup R4 - 26th of foot (done) Dec 03 - Alloa v Rangers - Challenge Cup SF - no volunteer Dec 06 - Rangers v Cowdenbeath - SPFL Championship - SteveC (done) Dec 12 - Queen of the South v Rangers - SPFL Championship - Hildy (done) Dec 20 - Rangers v Livingston - SPFL Championship - Frankie (done) Dec 27 - Hibernian v Rangers - SPFL Championship - JohnMc (done) Jan 03 - Rangers v Dumbarton - SPFL Championship - no volunteer (done by Andy Steel) Jan 10 - Alloa Athletic v Rangers - SPFL Championship - Zappa (done) Jan 16 - Rangers v Hearts - SPFL Championship - 26th of foot (done) Jan 24 - Cowdenbeath v Rangers - SPFL Championship - Frankie (done) Feb 01 - Rangers v Celtic - League Cup SF - JohnMc (done) Feb 08 - Rangers v Raith Rovers - Scottish Cup R5 - Pete (done) Feb 13 - Rangers v Hibernian - SPFL Championship - Laudbertz (done) Feb 20 - Raith Rovers v Rangers - SPFL Championship - Frankie (done) Feb 27 - Falkirk v Rangers - SPFL Championship - pete Mar 07 - Cowdenbeath v Rangers - SPFL Championship - Laudbertz (done) Mar 10 - Rangers v QotS - SPFL Championship - Stewarty Mar 14 - Rangers v Livingston - SPFL Championship - shorerdbear (done) Mar 17 - Rangers v Alloa Athletic - SPFL Championship - no volunteer (done by Zappa) Mar 22 - Hibernian v Rangers - SPFL Championship - pete (done) Mar 28 - Rangers v Cowdenbeath - SPFL Championship - Laudbertz (done) Apr 05 - Rangers v Hearts - SPFL Championship - 26th of foot (done) Apr 09 - QotS v Rangers - SPFL Championship - Pete (done) Apr 12 - Rangers v Raith Rovers - SPFL Championship - no volunteer (done by Zappa) Apr 15 - Livingston v Rangers - SPFL Championship - Frankie (done) Apr 18 - Dumbarton v Rangers - SPFL Championship - andy steel (done) Apr 25 - Rangers v Falkirk - SPFL Championship - Rousseau (done) May 02 - Hearts v Rangers - SPFL Championship - Laudbertz (done) May 09 - QoS v Rangers - Premiership Play-Off QF leg 1 - Frankie (done) May 17 - Rangers v QoS - Premiership Play-Off QF leg 2 - Zappa (done) _____________________________________________________________
  3. ...while fans are queuing up to bail them out. WHY the hell are Rangers selling their best player for just £1million when they have fans who are willing to put £6.5million into the club?. It's an absolutely ridiculous state of affairs. No wonder the Gers fans are going berserk. It's obvious to me this is a reaction by the club to the SFA blocking Mike Ashley from increasing his stake to 29.9 per cent. The club is desperate for money. I said a few weeks ago that it wouldn't surprise me if clubs came in for Macleod and Lee Wallace in the January transfer window. It is well known in the game that Rangers need funds. So clubs will try to get players on the cheap. But Brentford! For £1 million! It is obvious Rangers are in a serious predicament. Because what does selling the midfielder do for their chances of winning promotion back to the top flight? I just don't know why the club aren't accepting people who have put money on the table with open arms. George Letham, Douglas Park and George Taylor have offered to underwrite the share issue to the tune of £6.5 million. They are genuine supporters who care about the Ibrox club and they have provided proof of funds. Anybody who wants to invest in the SPFL Championship club just now has to be a fan given the state they are in. They don't want to make a fast buck. Apparently, the club is ready to open negotiations with the trio over representation on the board. But for me there is no discussion needed. Ashley's attempt to buy control of the Ibrox club has been rebuffed by the SFA. So the club has to get money from somewhere else. Why aren't they accepting this substantial injection of cash straight away. Why are they offloading Macleod? Do they have something to hide? Are there things they don't want these guys to find out about? I personally am not interested in who is in charge Rangers. I just want them to function as a unit with everyone involved working together. I want to see the club run they way it should be run - on and off the park. If this consortium's bid isn't accepted there is a very real danger that more fans won't bother to turn up for the Championship game against Dumbarton on Saturday. Attendances at the matches against Cowdenbeath and Livingston this month were below 20,000. What will they be this weekend after this development? The people who are running Rangers have to understand they need the supporters onside to get out of this mess. If Letham, Park and Taylor came in then I am in no doubt that fans would have more faith in the board and more of them would come back. I know for a fact that young Lewis didn't really want to leave Rangers. Certainly not to Brentford. I am in no doubt that the 20-year-old has been told he has to join the English Championship club to raise money. Yes, it is a higher level than he is currently playing at. But I think he could do far better than the Griffin Park club. The money Rangers will bank from the sale of the Scotland Under-21 internationalist, too, will do them for a month. What do they do after that? They have lost one of their best performers, one of the few individuals they have who has a bit of quality. Do they go back to Mike Ashley and get more loans? Are we the Loan Rangers now? http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangerscomment/rangers-are-flogging-the-family-silver-while-fans-are-queuing-up-to-193047n.115344368
  4. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/requisitioner-says-ally-mccoist-deserves-full-pay-off-at-rangers-192073n.114667550 I wish someone would explain to me in detail how some people are entitled to contractual pay offs for bad performance while others are not?
  5. Following the news yesterday that Kyle McAusland had gone out on loan to Brechin City until the end of the year I decided today to have a look at who from the bunch of our reserve & youth players currently out on loan were playing for their teams today, so here's some brief news about them following today's games: Calum Gallagher - Calum played the full 90+5 minutes and scored the second goal after 41 minutes for Cowdenbeath today in their 2-1 home victory over Queen of the South. Gallagher's goal was a right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. He also had an earlier attempt on goal saved following a corner kick 20 minutes into the game when his left footed shot from the centre of the box was saved at the bottom left corner. Luca Gasparotto - Luca played the full 90+6 minutes for Airdrieonians today in their 2-3 victory over Ayr United away from home. Just before the 53 minute mark Luca hit the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Just after the 86 minute mark Luca scored a header from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner to get his side back on level terms. The goal was mistakenly awarded to David Proctor, but later given to Gasparotto. He only conceded one foul and one corner in what was an excellent away win for Airdrieonians. Craig Halkett - Craig played the full 90+3 minutes for Clyde today in their 1-1 home draw with Annan Athletic. The goal Clyde conceded was a penalty following a foul in the box by Craig's teammate Brian McQueen. Barrie McKay - Barrie played the full 90+2 minutes for Raith Rovers today in their 0-0 home draw with Falkirk. Not sure how well he played yet, but he did have one attempt on goal midway through the second half where he put his left footed shot from outside the box over the bar. Robbie Crawford - Robbie played 73 minutes for Morton today in their 2-1 defeat away from home to Stenhousemuir before being replaced by Jon Scullion. Morton dominated the game and created far more chances than Stenny, but a close range header early in the second half gave the home side all 3 points. Kyle McAusland - Kyle made a substitute appearance for Brechin today in their 3-1 away defeat in Forfor. He came on for Gary Fusco after 58 minutes when Brechin were already getting beat 2-1. Not much info to report yet apart from him giving away a foul shortly after coming on, but quickly making amends by winning a free kick in the attacking half only 5 minutes after his introduction, then winning another in stoppage time. Danny Stoney - Danny got a substitute appearance for Stranraer today in their 2-0 home victory over Stirling when he came on after 73 minutes. He was only on the pitch for about 90 seconds before forcing the Stirling keeper into a save when his right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left was saved at the bottom left corner. So, it was a reasonably good day for our young lads out on loan with four of them getting the full match under their belt and really good days for Calum Gallagher and Luca Gasparotto in particular, with both of their teams recording excellent victories against very tough opposition in their respective leagues. Keep up the good work lads!!
  6. RANGERS defender Darren McGregor admits he has been impressed with how Hearts have performed in the SPFL Championship. Robbie Neilson's team has gone undefeated in the second tier this season and currently sits four points clear at the top of the table after 12 games. But McGregor has questioned how the Tynecastle club's young players will cope when the pressure on them grows in the weeks ahead. And the stopper has vowed to turn up the heat on the capital club by helping the Gers overcome Alloa in today's league match at Ibrox. "Hearts have had a great season so far," he admitted. "I can't say they've not done well - they've done amazingly well. "The nucleus of players who were involved for them last season have now bedded in. "I played against them with St Mirren and I think they are a better team this season than last with the experience they have brought in. "In the summer they signed the big defender Alim Ozturk, who has a decent shot on him, while former Dundee United player Morgaro Gomis has settled it down for them in the middle of the park. I really do think they've done superbly. "But my question would be about when the pressure starts increasing and their points advantage gets smaller - can they handle it?" McGregor added: "The lead Hearts had at the top of the league was up to nine points at one stage and now it's four. "And if we beat Alloa it will be down to one point before they kick-off their match away to Falkirk at 5.30pm. "All we can do is win games and apply the pressure. We know that we want to be at the top of the table and we will do everything to get there. "People will tell you that they don't look at papers or their closest contenders but the first thing you do after a game is look to see how your opposition have done. Hearts will be no different. "This will be the first time since the start of the season that they will really feel the pressure if we get their lead down to a single point. "It's a totally different ball game when the pressure is on. "It will be interesting to see how they deal with it." McGregor came on as a late substitute for Rangers in their 2-1 loss to Hearts at Ibrox on the first weekend of the league season back in August. However, he insists that Ally McCoist's team has improved massively since that game and has a good chance of avenging that disappointing result when they take on Neilson's side at Tynescastle next Saturday. THE 29-year-old Light Blues ace said: "The momentum we have gathered over the last eight games means that confidence is high. Any player will tell you that's massive. "We're training well, scoring and keeping clean sheets. That just builds confidence. It will be a great occasion next week. "I think some people have just found their feet here. We have built up this momentum of scoring goals and also not conceding them and now it's about keeping that going." McGregor, though, is focusing fully on today's match with part-time Alloa that Rangers need to win to stay in touch with the league leaders. He said: "For me, this game against Alloa is just as big as the Hearts one. We need to take the three points and apply the pressure. With Hearts kicking off after we've finished, it gives us a chance to do that. "But Alloa proved in the last game we played against them at their place that they are a good team. Whether that's also the case away from home we will have to wait and see. "We're looking forward to it. We have applied ourselves in training this week and we're on a good run just now." McGregor has established himself as first-choice centre- half during Gers' eight-game winning run and has helped them keep out the opposition's forwards for the last six games. He said: "Half a dozen clean sheets in a row is good. I have built up a good partnership with Lee McCulloch. "The manager has told us that we set the tone and lead from the front. "We know that if we keep a clean sheet in games we'll win them because we have guys up front who will put the ball in the back of the net." ALTHOUGH he is delighted to be playing now in his preferred position in the heart of the defence, McGregor does not resent having to begin his Rangers career at full-back. He said: "Centre-half is my position but I played right-back at the start of the season when Richard Foster was injured. "I enjoyed it even though I felt that I wouldn't fulfil my potential there. Playing right back gave me the grounding I probably needed in a Rangers shirt as it was a position where there maybe wasn't as much expected of me. "It settled me down so it was a blessing in disguise." Meanwhile, McGregor has praised the role Kenny Miller has had in Rangers' winning run since returning to the side. He said: "Kenny is a great leader in the dressing room and on the field. You can see a lot of younger guys looking up to him. He inspires them. He's a great asset. "I've seen him doing a bit of analysis on TV and he's great at that too. He demands the boys do everything the right way and I've no problem with that. "It's not as if he moans for no reason, he does it because he wants the best. That includes giving me a hard time for not dropping back and taking the ball off the keeper. "I have to put my hand up and say, 'Okay, Kenny, I'll do it next time.' "He has the experience of playing at the highest level. "You need to absorb all the information he has. You'd be stupid not to. I love all of that." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/darren-wonders-how-hearts-will-cope-when-rangers-turn-up-title-188735n.25877703
  7. ALLY McCoist is pleased for Rangers fans that Mike Ashley has given up the naming rights to Ibrox. The Gers this week announced that major shareholder Ashley had agreed to turn down the chance to rename the stadium. Supporters were vehemently opposed to the move and had staged protests outside the Sports Direct stores owned by the billionaire. He said: "I can understand people trying to rename stadiums for financial purposes. "But I think to the vast majority of supporters it will still remain Ibrox no matter what you put in front of it. "It would remain what it has been for years and all through the generations. "From the Rangers point of view you could call it whatever you wanted but it would still be Ibrox. "I'm just glad we won't get the opportunity to find that out. "Any good news is welcomed by the Rangers supporters and I think the majority see it that way. I'm delighted for them." McCoist received some good news himself yesterday when he discovered that Lewis Macleod would be available for the SPFL Championship match with Alloa today. Macleod has been training with the Scotland squad this week - but the 20-year-old midfielder was not needed for the Euro 2016 qualifier with the Republic of Ireland last night. And the Gers manager is hopeful that being away with the national squad will have given the youngster a massive lift ahead of the league game. He said: "Lewis has trained with us and is in our squad. "I had a chat with Gordon Strachan. Thankfully, he's in agreement that we would like him to get a game at the weekend. "I think he has a chance of being in our squad! It's safe to say that he is in the Scotland squad for a reason, and the reason is that he has been doing well. "We are delighted that he is back in the squad for the Alloa game because we want all our best players available. On current form Lewis is certainly one of them. "I would imagine he would join back up with the Scotland squad after the game. He's loved it. I spoke to him and he has thoroughly enjoyed it. Gordon said he's done just fine which is encouraging but not surprising." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangers-boss-mccoists-delight-over-name-game-188737n.25877768
  8. ALLY McCoist has been heavily criticised and, at times, even derided for having Rangers games postponed during the last year or so. Fans of all football clubs like to go and see their side in action at three o'clock on a Saturday afternoon - at home especially. So when a match is switched to a midweek slot, for whatever reason, it tends to annoy supporters. The logic behind McCoist asking for fixtures to be called off - that three or more of his players are away on international duty - has not been widely accepted. When the Gers manager last invoked SPFL rule G7 and had last month's scheduled Petrofac Training Cup quarter-final against East Fife put back it upset many. Centre-backs Bilel Mohsni and Marius Zaliukas were called up by Tunisia and Lithuania respectively. Northern Ireland, meanwhile, placed Dean Shiels on stand-by. All three men had featured in the first team in the 2014/15 campaign. But not all of them were likely to kick off the last eight tie at New Bayview. In fact, it was not inconceivable that none of them would play. Surely, a lot of disgruntled fans asked, the Ibrox club has a strong enough squad to be able to cope with a meeting with part-time opposition from the bottom division without Mohsni, Shiels and Zaliukas? For followers of other clubs, meanwhile, it was nothing short of laughable that the once-mighty Glasgow giants appeared to be running scared of minnows from Methil. McCoist will argue that it is his responsibility as manager to put out his strongest possible side on the park irrespective of how lowly the opposition team are. He will also point to the fact his side has won all four of the games he has had postponed - against Dunfermline, Forfar, Cowdenbeath and East Fife - this season and last. Yet, whether you approve of his stance in these situations or not is neither here nor there in the case of the Championship match with Alloa at Ibrox this Saturday. For the club board to decree the match goes ahead without consulting with their manager on the matter is alarming and suggests all is not well in the relationship between the two parties. Yes, the future of the troubled League One champions remains, despite Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley agreeing to loan them £2million last month, shrouded in uncertainty. And, yes, playing the game against Alloa this weekend as scheduled will certainly ensure that much-needed revenue comes in to the stricken club as normal. It should also prevent Championship leaders Hearts pulling further ahead of Rangers at the top of the second tier table ahead of a massive meeting between the two sides at Tynecastle seven days later. But the decision on the Alloa match going ahead was a football one and should have been taken by Ally McCoist and Ally McCoist alone. That it was not was a disturbing development and has set a worrying precedent. What's next? Derek Llambias ruling that Jon Daly deserves a start up front ahead of Kris Boyd? David Somers insisting the side should set up in a 4-5-1 formation instead of a 4-4-2? The absence of Mohsni and Arnold Peralta will not impact on Rangers as neither man has featured for the first team in weeks. The loss of Lewis Macleod, however, most certainly will. It is no surprise McCoist is considering asking Scotland boss Gordon Strachan to release the midfielder for the game if he is not set to be involved in the Euro 2016 qualifier with the Republic of Ireland on Friday night. Macleod scored one goal - his eighth of the campaign -and set up Kenny Miller for another in an emphatic 4-0 triumph over Falkirk in a league game at Ibrox at the weekend. He was also the deserved recipient of the man of the match award. The 20-year-old, then, will be conspicuous by his absence if he is not in the Rangers team against Alloa. He certainly has been whenever he has been sidelined previously this term. It was no coincidence the Light Blues drew 1-1 with Alloa away and lost 3-1 to Hibs at home when the talented youngster was injured. Five of the eight points they have dropped in the league this season have been leaked without him. Stevie Smith will probably get the nod to stand in for Macleod and will no doubt acquit himself with all of his usual professionalism. But he is a specialist left- back and is not a like-for-like replacement. Having said all that, if McCoist's men, who have now kept six consecutive clean sheets in all competitions, continue to play as well as they have done in recent weeks against Barry Smith's charges they should collect all three points. Their performance against a decent Falkirk side was assured. A Nicky Law strike early on gave them the lead and subsequent efforts from Macleod, Miller and Nicky Clark secured another victory. The backline of Richard Foster, Darren McGregor, Lee McCulloch and Lee Wallace was once again rock solid. Steve Simonsen in goals was rarely troubled by the visitors. Hearts edged out Raith Rovers - a side that Rangers had thrashed 6-1 a few weeks ago - by 1-0 through in the capital on Saturday and maintained their four-point advantage at the top of the table. But the fact that Rangers have won eight games on the spin, letting in just one goal in the process, is rightly giving them confidence they can catch and overtake their main rivals for promotion back to the top flight. You would think Ally McCoist, the man responsible for orchestrating that run of form and for overseeing Rangers rise through the bottom two divisions, would be deferred to on football matters. You would be wrong. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/ally-must-action-cap-call-offs-at-rangers-187907n.25814885
  9. http://www.heraldscotland.com/mobile/sport/football/from-central-defender-to-central-figure-rangers-look-stronger-with-mcgregor.25792124
  10. ALLY McCOIST admits he is bracing himself for a period without Bilel Mohsni early next year which could see him miss the League Cup semi-final with Celtic. The defender has made himself a regular in the Tunisia squad which is close to qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations. At present, the event is scheduled to be played from January 17 to February 8, although Morocco has until Saturday to decide if it still wishes to host it. The Moroccans have pushed for a postponement because of the recent Ebola outbreak and a final decision will be taken next Tuesday on what will happen if they maintain their stance. Should the tournament go ahead as currently planned, Tunisia will most likely be competing having moved to the top of their group in the final round of preliminary fixtures. Sitting with 10 points from four games, Georges Leekens’ side will advance to the finals if it matches Egypt’s result against Senegal when it faces Botswana next Friday. That would put the Eagles of Carthage through with a tie to spare and even if they suffer a dramatic collapse in their last two outings they will probably still progress. The best third-placed team will go through too and Egypt are currently the highest ranked in that respect with six points, four less than Mohsni and his team-mates. The latter stages of the finals event clash with the tie against Celtic on January 31 or February 1. While Mohsni would certainly miss at least the meetings with Hearts and Cowdenbeath in the SPFL Championship, he may be at risk of sitting out the derby too. McCoist said: “People keep talking about squads and the numbers we have in ours and this is why we need as many players to fill our group as possible. “You do get injuries, suspensions and international call-ups. Regardless of the fact he hasn’t played recently, Bilel is still a very important member of our squad. “Of that there is no doubt. Darren McGregor and Lee McCulloch have been doing well and were put together due to Bilel’s suspension. “We have to show loyalty to boys who do well and we’ll continue to do that but we would still rather not be without anyone else. “It would be nothing short of a real shock for Tunisia not to qualify now because of the position they’re in. “If and when he goes, we’ll wish Bilel well but we’ll certainly miss him. It’s a catch 22 situation.” http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/8031-bilel-set-for-finals-trip
  11. ALLY McCoist today vowed to try and keep Lewis Macleod's feet on the ground after the young Rangers midfielder was called up by Scotland. McCoist was delighted Macleod was yesterday named in the 27-man national squad for the games against the Republic of Ireland and England. But he stressed the talented 20-year-old had "a long way to go in his career" and has to keep working hard in order to realise his potential. McCoist said: "It's brilliant for Lewis, great for him. I'd a chat with him and I'd spoken to Gordon on Monday. We are delighted and we all have high hopes for him without getting carried away. "We are genuinely pleased to see him get his first international call-up. "Can he make an impact in the squad straight away? I don't know. The Scottish boys have been doing well so that will be up to Gordon." Macleod, who helped Rangers beat Cowdenbeath 3-0 in a rearranged SPFL Championship match at Central Park, has been called up by Scotland despite playing out of position. But his manager believes the Murray Park youth graduate has benefited from playing wide on the left of midfield for the Ibrox club in the last two-and-a-half seasons. He said: "We don't have any doubt that his position will be central, but it's not doing him any harm learning his trade. "Longer term, he will be a central midfielder. But Lewis is realising it's about the team, not the individual. "Lewis was quieter against Cowdenbeath and that didn't surprise us as he has a long way to go in what will be a long and successful career." McCoist believes the win over Cowdenbeath, which cut Hearts' lead at the top of the second-tier table to four points, shows they are very much in the hunt for the title. And he has urged his players not to allow their attention to wander to the massive League Cup semi-final with Old Firm rivals Celtic in February. He said: "We didn't start very well, which is a contradiction as we scored a great goal. Our general play could have been better. "The second goal helped. Later on, we were fairly good. We grew into the game. "Cowdenbeath were very good, especially in the early part of the game. This is a difficult venue at any time, let alone a Tuesday night. "But getting the goals and the clean sheet was pleasing. We have to focus on the massive games of football before the Old Firm game. "We had to win to let the other teams in the Championship know and we certainly sent out a message that we are in the hunt." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/coisty-ill-keep-rangers-star-lewis-grounded-after-scots-cap-call-187313n.25781990
  12. THE Rangers fans have been absolutely magnificent in their backing of the Ibrox club since they dropped down to the bottom division two years ago. So it was desperately sad to see a small number of individuals involved in some ugly scenes in the stands in the SPFL Championship game through in Livingston. I couldn't see what happened from my position in the commentary box. But it has been claimed police attempted to arrest a supporter who was clearly the worse for wear and scuffles broke out. There were thousands of travelling supporters at the Energy Assets Arena who behaved impeccably. But the unfortunate incident reflects badly on Gers fans as a whole. If anybody is prosecuted as a result of what happened then Rangers should definitely come down hard on them and issue banning orders. They have to send out a clear message that such actions will not be tolerated. http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangerscomment/dj-ban-rangers-troublemakers-as-deterrent-183989n.25553620
  13. Alleged headbutt complaint dismissed - two match ban removed.
  14. RANGERS today demanded an apology from Livingston over "outrageous and unacceptable" content in their match programme at the weekend. And the Ibrox club will also report their SPFL Championship rivals to the governing body over the "erroneous material". Gers supporters were incensed at two articles which appeared in the programme at the Energy Assets Arena. One story referred to "the club then known as Rangers" playing a game against Hibernian three years ago. It went on to state that "a brand new club" had been established after the old parent company was liquidated back in 2012. Another story in the Livingston programme mentioned the West Lothian club's record against the "now-defunct outfit" and "the newly-formed Rangers". However, High Court judge Lord Nimmo Smith ruled that Rangers was a "recognisable entity which continued in existence notwithstanding the change in ownership" two years ago. Livingston officials are believed to be horrified by the comments that appeared in the official publication which is edited by supporter Andy Crawford. However, Rangers still want their rivals, who they defeated 1-0 at the weekend, to apologise over the offence caused to the 54-times Scottish champions. A club statement read: "The content written about the football club and our players was outrageous and entirely unacceptable. "We will be raising the issue with the SPFL and seeking an apology from Livingston FC, who had a duty to prevent such erroneous material from appearing in their programme." Meanwhile, Rangers are set to escape any sanction from the SPFL over the crowd trouble that flared in the stands and outside the stadium in Livingston on Saturday. However, the League One champions are set to issue anyone who is convicted following the unrest at the weekend with banning orders from their matches. There were violent scuffles between Gers fans and police and stewards in one section of the stands during the first half of the second-tier game. Livingston safety officer Alan Scott confirmed: "There were five people arrested. The stewards and police assisted each other in dealing with the matter and no police or stewards were injured." And after the match mounted police reportedly had to break up an altercation between Rangers and Livingston supporters in the car park of nearby supermarket Lidl. The incidents are set to be mentioned in the official report to the SPFL by match delegate Alan Dick that should arrive at the Hampden offices of the governing body tomorrow. However, Rangers are confident their preparations for the match were professional and in accordance with strict guidelines laid down by the SPFL. They should, therefore, escape any official censure. After the match, Rangers manager Ally McCoist commented: "I did see it and it looked pretty unsavoury, but until I get a report on it I would be loath to comment other than to say we can do without incidents like that." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/rangers-demand-apology-over-livi-programme-article-183240n.25506990
  15. http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/7756-cowden-trip-on-hold? RANGERS’ scheduled SPFL Championship clash with Cowdenbeath next month has been called off because of internationals. A number of Light Blues players are in line to represent their respective countries in various matches around the world. It has been deemed enough individuals are expected to be selected for a postponement to be requested and that has been granted by the SPFL. Squads will be named over the next week or so and the identities of those being chosen to join up with their national sides will become clear in due course. Gers were due to visit Central Park on league business for the first time since 1971 on October 11. The fixture will now be rearranged for an alternative date but as yet a new one has not been agreed.
  16. Wednesday 1 October 2014 IS ALLY McCOIST'S POSITION UNTENABLE? No, not yet, but we appear to be trundling progressively closer to that state of affairs. Six points behind in the SPFL Championship is a surprising position for him to be in after seven fixtures and the situation is worsened by the fact his side have already lost at home to both Hearts and Hibernian, generally regarded as their two main rivals for promotion. The question is: how far behind must they fall before something dramatic has to happen? Eight points? Nine points? What will tip things over the edge? Will it be defeat at Tynecastle on November 22, or the latest in a long line of losses in knockout competition when St Johnstone pay a visit to Ibrox in the League Cup? So far, McCoist's players have done just enough to keep him away from the noose. They scraped an ill-deserved win at Falkirk thanks to a late, deflected mis-hit from Lewis Macleod in their second league match of the campaign and beating Inverness Caledonian Thistle to maintain interest in the League Cup was a big result. The team showed promise when winning 4-0 at Raith Rovers, but that has been shown to be a one-off and belief that McCoist can turn them into a side capable of providing entertaining football every week is dwindling. Supporters are not yet calling in significant numbers for McCoist's resignation or removal, but performances are nowhere near the standards expected. A number of bookmakers have already installed Hearts as favourites for the Championship and that is only sensible on current form. McCoist did agree a pay-cut, understood to amount to 50%, on the £825,000-a-year wage he enjoyed until January 2014, but his earnings are going to continue to prompt questions when his team plays as it did in the process of losing 3-1 at home to Hibernian. Open revolt in the stands, if it happens, would force the issue. SHOULD HE CONSIDER WALKING AWAY IF THINGS DO NOT IMPROVE? Tough one. Would you walk away for less than to what you are entitled when you had witnessed a number of others from the boardroom - all accountable, in part, for almost £70m being squandered in two years - receive pay-offs? HOW MUCH OF THIS CAN BE BLAMED ON THE ONGOING UNCERTAINTY CREATED BY THOSE ABOVE HIM AT BOARDROOM LEVEL? None of it. The players state ad infinitum, after all, that they do not focus on financial concerns. McCoist knows the pressures at Ibrox. Whatever is going on in the background, asking Rangers to set the pace in the Championship with a budget that dwarves anything available to other clubs in the division is not unreasonable. The money being spent on Rangers' football department means they should beat everyone in the game other than Celtic. IS SPECULATION OVER McCOIST'S FUTURE NOT A KNEE-JERK REACTION AT AN EARLY STAGE IN THE SEASON? Not really. Rangers fans have, generally, been scathing over the standard of football they have watched for the last 2½ seasons. The team did win the Third Division and then SPFL League 1 by a street, but they regularly struggled to dispatch teams of part-timers. McCoist's record in cup competitions cannot be allowed to pass either. Rangers did not, whatever he may say, spend the money they did purely to win Scotland's bottom two divisions. If they did, they spent way over the odds. Losses to top-flight sides such as Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Dundee United were dressed up as understandable and acceptable; questions over Rangers having a Premiership wage bill were glossed over. Defeats in the Ramsdens Cup to Queen of the South and Raith Rovers, who humiliated them in the final at Easter Road, were shameful in the extreme. WHAT WILL HAPPEN, THEN, SHOULD RANGERS FAIL TO WIN AT LIVINGSTON ON SATURDAY? McCoist will have to answer questions on whether or not he believes his time is up. ARE THE GROWING QUESTIONS OVER HIS TACTICAL APPROACH FAIR? Yes. Too many games have resulted in an over-reliance on long balls and there is a distinct lack of variation about the play. His team selections continue to raise eyebrows as well with players continually being played out of position. The side has been letting in goals too easily, but Darren McGregor, a centre-half, continues to be fielded at right-back while Bilel Mohsni remains a starter. McGregor admitted in the match programme for the Hibernian game that he had only played on the right "a couple of times with St Mirren". Wouldn't Richard Foster be a better bet there with McGregor in the middle? Lewis Macleod is a central midfielder who was being used on the left before injury. Rather than use attacking players with pace in the wide midfield positions against Hibernian, McCoist used Steven Smith, a full-back, and Arnold Peralta, a central midfielder. So much emphasis seems to be placed on sending Lee Wallace powering down the left flank, but Rangers are not getting behind opposition defences often enough and that is contributing to Kris Boyd's clear problems. He is a natural predator, but has failed to score in the league and has only hit the net in two of 12 appearances. There have to be greater signs of an established style of playing at Rangers. Regular supporters also note the absence of a Plan B. BOYD SCORED 22 TIMES FOR A POOR KILMARNOCK TEAM IN THE PREMIERSHIP LAST SEASON. WHY HAVE THE GOALS DRIED UP? He missed a number of chances at Raith Rovers and Alloa and looks a shadow of his former self, but he is not receiving adequate service. Rangers have lacked invention, variation and creativity. Boyd admits that he has been forced to feed off scraps at times. WHY HAVE SO MANY ESTABLISHED TOP-FLIGHT PLAYERS STRUGGLED AT RANGERS? Great question. Dean Shiels, Ian Black and Nicky Law all arrived in great form. David Templeton had just scored for Hearts against Liverpool at Anfield in the Europa League qualifiers. Marius Zaliukas, signed this summer, is not even deemed worthy of a start in a defence leaking goals left, right and centre. All these players are going backwards. Are they simply incapable of handling life in the goldfish bowl or are their collective troubles a reflection of wider failings within the team as a whole? Probably a bit of both. WILL THINGS CHANGE WHEN KENNY MILLER IS FIT AGAIN? Will Kenny Miller be fully fit again? He is three months from his 35th birthday. His career has been built on relentless workrate and selfless running. That catches up with you eventually. We are a month into the season and he has already been laid up with hamstring and calf problems. A NUMBER OF OLDER PLAYERS HAVE BEEN BROUGHT IN AND REMAIN. SHOULDN'T RANGERS HAVE USED THEIR TIME IN THE LOWER LEAGUES TO CONSTRUCT A STRATEGY BASED ON YOUTH? Of course they should. Jon Daly, for example, admitted earlier this week that he can no longer train two days in a row because of knee trouble. McCoist is not entirely to blame for the way Rangers have frittered away their millions, but they missed a trick. Two years in the bottom divisions could have been used to build a young, fit squad that could grow together. If those in the existing youth set-up were not good enough, a more structured, long-term and cost-effective transfer policy could have been employed. Instead, Charles Green was struggling to sell season tickets following his takeover and permitted McCoist to lure established top-flight players to the club. He needed quick results and could be understood in having gone for a quick fix. In the meantime, Rangers' footballing department was allowed to continue without a recognised scouting network. Rangers' development squad, for the record, currently sits close to the bottom of the SPFL Development League with three points from four games. EVEN IF HEARTS DO WIN THE LEAGUE, WON'T RANGERS STILL ACHIEVE THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF GETTING BACK TO THE SPFL PREMIERSHIP THROUGH THE PLAY-OFFS? Let's just say that anyone who has watched Rangers' two meetings with Hibernian so far would be reluctant to place money on that. http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/...=email%2Balert
  17. CAMMY BELL’S shoulder operation has passed successfully while Ally McCoist is hoping to welcome at least one face back into his squad for Monday’s game with Hibernian. Goalkeeper Bell went under the knife earlier this week as he had surgery to repair the joint after he dislocated it in training at Murray Park last Thursday. That was after he had originally hurt himself during the 2-0 SPFL Championship win over Falkirk on August 15. Bell is still expected to be sidelined until around Christmas and that remains a real setback for manager McCoist. But the former Kilmarnock player can now at least make real progress in his rehabilitation as he looks to make a comeback in the course of time. Elsewhere, Lewis Macleod trained with the squad today after coming off with an ankle problem twice in as many days at the end of last week. The 20-year-old was hurt in training at Ibrox last Friday and although he was fit enough to start at Alloa, he was withdrawn with the same issue after just 12 minutes. Macleod missed Tuesday’s League cup victory against Falkirk but McCoist admits he could have a chance of coming back against the Hibees. Nicky Clark also sat out the trip to Westfield with a sore shoulder after taking a blow in the first half of the weekend clash with the Wasps. He hasn’t taken part in full training since then but he was able to do some running on the treadmill this morning after receiving treatment earlier in the week and is making strides. Kenny Miller remains on the sidelines with a calf injury and is keen to return but is being handled with care so that he doesn’t push himself too much. McCoist said: “Nicky is back running while Lewis was out with us today and didn’t feel any pain. “Cammy has come through a successful operation which we’re pleased about. As you can imagine, Kenny is champing at the bit to get back and we’re having to hold him back a bit. “We’re making progress in terms of our shorter-term injuries and I’d hope to see those boys back sooner rather than later. “I would say Lewis will probably have a better chance of playing against Hibs than Kenny or Nicky but I wouldn’t close the door on anybody. “I’m optimistic the boys will heal quickly and we’ll give them every chance to do that and play again.” http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/7736-bell-shoulder-op-successful
  18. RANGERS could be without Cammy Bell until Christmas after it he dislocated his right shoulder in training yesterday. The goalkeeper has been out injured since he hurt the same joint during the 2-0 SPFL Championship win over Falkirk at Westfield on August 15. He had been making good progress in his rehabilitation and was starting to think of making a return to first-team action once again. But his mishap yesterday at Murray Park means he requires surgery and he is expected to be out for around three months as a result. Losing Bell, who kept 25 clean sheets in total last season, is clearly a big setback for manager Ally McCoist. He does have experience to call upon in the keeper’s absence, however, and Steve Simonsen should continue between the posts for the foreseeable future. The former England under-21 cap has featured in each of the last six games and has kept clean sheets recently against Raith Rovers and Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Lee Robinson will keep providing back-up to Simonsen after signing a one-year deal with the club last month. http://www.rangers.co.uk/news/headlines/item/7678-further-setback-for-bell
  19. RANGERS still need to secure substantial additional investment to get them through to the end of the season - despite raising over £3million last week. And further off-field unrest at the Ibrox club, where disgruntled fans are considering a mass boycott, could impact greatly on dwindling resources. That was the stark message from financial expert Neil Patey today as he assessed the situation at the troubled Glasgow institution. The SPFL Championship club announced last Friday that £3.13m worth of shares had been purchased at a share offering. But Patey, a partner with accountancy firm Ernst and Young, believes Rangers will only be left with around £1m of that to use for running costs. And he stressed that Gers directors will have to bring in fresh funding to stave off the threat of a second administration in three years. Speculation is rife that Sports Direct magnate Mike Ashley will increase his involvement - or club assets like Murray Park will be sold off. Patey said: "The club themselves stated that if 15 million shares were taken up it would take them through to the end of the current year. "What they raised was just marginally over the minimum so it will probably see them up to just past Christmas. "Of the £3million they have raised, around £500,000 of it will go on expenses leaving them with £2.5million. "If they repay the loans to Sandy Easdale and George Letham in full, they will be left with about £1million. "If they are saying that £1million will get them to the end of the year, that suggests they have succeeded in getting the monthly cash burn down to a fairly low figure. "Broadly speaking, going on the figures the club has given, they will then need to bring in at least £2million to get them through to the end of the season. "Towards the end of the season, the club are going to start selling season tickets once again and money will be coming in." Patey added: "But, again, that is dependent on the fans coming out and buying season tickets. The big thing for the club is fan support. "The club may only have sold 23,000 season tickets, but they are still taking in money from ticket sales on match days. "But if the supporters stop turning up for matches then it will make the situation worse. Fans have a big say in how things go at Rangers." Patey stressed the financial situation at Rangers would improve significantly when they rejoin Old Firm rivals Celtic in the top flight. He said: "Getting back into the Premiership does two things. In the first instance, they get more money from games. "Secondly, it helps them to attract investors if they are a Premiership club." http://www.eveningtimes.co.uk/rangers/financial-experts-rangers-warning-180534n.25322293
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