Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Ally McCoist claims Rangers aren't Cup favourites

Relieved: Ally McCoist didn't want to draw old rivals Celtic

Rangers boss Ally McCoist insists his side are not the favourites to lift this season's William Hill Scottish Cup – claiming Aberdeen are a better bet.

Odds have tumbled on the League One Ibrox men becoming the first team from the Scottish third tier to lift the cup.

But McCoist claims that after beating holders Celtic at Parkhead last Saturday, it is Derek McInnes' men who are the safer wager.

Rangers will take on minnows Albion Rovers at home in the quarter-finals on the second weekend in March, while the Pittodrie side host Dumbarton.

The Rangers boss said: "I wouldn't have thought that we'd be the favourites, certainly with the way Aberdeen played at the weekend. Let's be honest about it, most people would install them as favourites and rightly so in my opinion.

"Dundee United will be a lot of folk's favourites as well.

"We are just delighted to have a home tie in the last eight."

Former Rangers chief executive Charles Green angered McCoist at the start of the season when, during a short-lived spell as a consultant to the club, he claimed the manager would need to secure a cup win to save his job.

Despite taking a step closer to that feat, the club's all-time record scorer stuck to his guns as he said that would not be necessary.

"The pressure is not on me from the person who said it, thankfully," McCoist said. "But there is pressure to win trophies. I personally didn't agree with that statement and I still don't, but you'd expect me to say that."

Aberdeen's victory at Celtic eliminated the possibility of an mouthwatering Old Firm clash this season.

McCoist believes his team could beat their old rivals but admitted he was slightly relieved not to have to put that claim to test.

McCoist said: "A one-off game is a one-off game and anyone can win that. But to do it across a league, we would absolutely need further investment to compete regularly.

"A game against Celtic would bring its own strains and pressures. I'll tell you the truth – I wasn't particularly wanting to get them and I wasn't particularly wanting to avoid them at the same time

"There is no point worrying about things you can't have an effect on, and realistically unless I was making the draw I can't have an effect on it, so what will be will be.

"It's now clear we won't now be playing Celtic so we will move on."

Rangers face a trip to third-placed Ayr United – a side they lead by 31 points – on league duty today.

Yesterday's second anniversary of the club entering administration had the manager in a reflective mood.

"There have been positives but it goes without saying that the negatives far outweigh those over these past two years. But there are definitely positives for the fans to look forward to in the near future," said McCoist.

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