Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 10 July 2014

Ally McCoist is tickled pink by a big blue day at Windsor

Ally McCoist

Ally McCoist had plenty of reasons to smile as Rangers visited Belfast on Saturday with the SPL Champions beating Linfield 4-1 in a friendly to mark the south Belfast side's 125th anniversary.

The win marked McCoist's first victory in charge, as well as the team's first goals of the pre-season.

Rangers took the lead through new signing Juan Manuel Ortiz, although that was soon cancelled out through Michael Carvill's fine effort for the Blues.

Second half goals from Steven Naismith, Nikica Jelavic and substitute Kane Hemmings gave Rangers a comfortable win.

And with the first fixtures of the new SPL season this weekend, the new manager was pleased to see his team finding the back of the net despite the lacklustre opening forty five minutes.

"We had a good chat at half-time but Linfield played very well in the first half," said McCoist.

"It was important we got back on the score sheet, but we've still got a bit to do in terms of readiness for the season."

And the Gers legend was happy to take part in Linfield's commemorative celebrations.

"To help them celebrate their anniversary is wonderful," he said.

"The hospitality and the people have always been wonderful and it's a relationship we're very pleased and proud to have with the club over here. I hope it's not long before we're back."

Off the field, there were more pleasing developments with the news that Steven Davis was close to agreeing a new deal at Ibrox.

The Scot hailed the importance of tying down the influential midfielder to a long-term contract.

He said: "It's as important to me as anything getting the good players that we have to stay.

"We've done it obviously with Whittaker and McGregor and Steve certainly comes in to that category. I'm delighted to hear about his positivity about signing the deal."

Davis believes that the contract situation will soon be resolved.

"It's just the finer details to sort out so it won't be too far away. I'm in the last year of my contract now but I've always enjoyed my time here and my family are settled here," he said.

"You know what the club means to me so it's a big thing."

Having previously played south of the border for Aston Villa and Fulham, Davis knows all about the Premier League.

"It's a great league to be involved in and I wouldn't rule it out in the future. But the grass isn't always greener on the other side and the amount of people who leave Rangers only to come back says a lot really."

One such player could be Adton Villa defender Carlos Cuellar.

McCoist said: "A bid has been accepted so it's a matter of us just thrashing out a deal with Carlos and his representatives."

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