Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

McCoist on the rack after Rangers defeat

Rangers manager Ally McCoist speaks to the press after last night's defeat by Maribor

Rangers manager Ally McCoist was last night forced to defend his decision to replace a fit Steven Naismith with Kyle Lafferty during the Europa League play-off against Maribor, which the Scottish champions lost 2-1.

Ally |is on the rackMccoist is forced to defend lafferty move |as rangers lose again

The under-fire Ibrox boss said he made the decision at the break — with Rangers leading — because he feared Naismith picking up a red card.

Northern Ireland striker Lafferty was far from match fit, coming on for his first appearance of the season after a hernia operation.

Steven Whittaker and Madjid Bougherra both saw red in the Champions League qualifying exit to Malmo — and McCoist says he was keen to avoid a repeat.

He said: “It was to keep him on the park. I thought there was a distinct chance that Naismith could have been sent off.”

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