Rangers boss McCoist backs Templeton to conquer fears
Rangers manager Ally McCoist does not expect David Templeton to have any trepidation when he returns to Annan Athletic's artificial pitch tomorrow afternoon.
The Light Blues winger was carried off on a stretcher with ankle ligament damage when the two sides fought out a goalless draw at Galabank on September 15, which the Ibrox club partly blamed on their hosts’ third generation pitch.
Templeton was out until early December but has since played on artificial turf at Montrose and McCoist expects the former Hearts player to erase any bad memories he may have of his last visit to Annan.
“David's head is absolutely fine,” he said.
“He might have a little bit of something going on in his head but I would hope not.
“He changes his boots, he wore different boots in the game at Montrose, which he seemed a lot more comfortable in.
“It won't alter my plans. I speak to the medical boys and listen to them but I think David is big enough, old enough and been around the block enough to know its just one of those things and he needs to get back and play.”
Rangers struggled to create chances at Annan but were off form in general on their away trips at that stage of their Irn-Bru Third Division campaign and have since scored 10 goals in two games on similar surfaces at Ochilview and Links Park.
McCoist said: “I would expect to get the exact same as we got the last time at Annan.
“The welcome we got was fantastic but it stopped as soon as that first whistle was blown by the referee.
“We lost Templeton early which was a real blow for us.
“We didn't play well while I thought Annan played particularly well.
“That said, we have handled the surfaces at East Stirling and Montrose better than we did then so we are hopefully getting used to the surfaces as well.”
The Light Blues' 1-0 win over Queen's Park at Hampden on Saturday was their 10th successive victory, leaving them 15 points clear of Elgin at the top of the table.
And McCoist believes his side are now better prepared for what awaits them in Scottish football's bottom tier.
The former Rangers striker said: “I think the best way we could put it is, hopefully there are no surprises now.
“Not that there should have been on the first occasion it has to be said.
“But perhaps we have to cut the players a little bit of slack in the respect that everything was relatively new to them the opposition, the places we were going.
“You would hope second time around we would all know what to expect and be ready for it and, indeed, match it.
“Annan will be a tough game. The opposition will be well up for it.
“It's a New Year fixture and their players will fancy their chances against us.”