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Ally McCoist: I'm still man to lead Rangers back to top

By Andy Newport

Under-fire Ally McCoist believes he still has the confidence of the Rangers board - despite reports suggesting Sandy Easdale wants him axed.

The Ibrox boss is facing mounting pressure after his side suffered a woeful defeat to part-time Alloa in Wednesday's Petrofac Training Cup semi-final.

Football board chairman Easdale and his brother James, a PLC director, were yesterday leading calls for him to be replaced.

But the cost of ripping up the manager's contract would cost the club £1.4million - a sum well beyond the cash-strapped Light Blues' means.

Unless Newcastle owner Mike Ashley - who also appears to be pulling the strings at Ibrox after handing the club a £3million loan - stumps up the cash, McCoist is going nowhere.

And the boss rejected suggestions he might quit - insisting he plans to see out the job of leading Rangers back to the Scottish Premiership.

Asked if he still had the backing of the board, the club's record goalscorer said: "Absolutely yeah.

"I haven't heard otherwise. I imagine that question has been asked following some of the comments in some of the newspapers.

"I haven't read them all but nobody has told me otherwise that I don't have the support of the board. I don't feel the need to seek reassurance."

McCoist faced angry chants from fans as his side dropped nine points behind Championship rivals Hearts with a 2-0 defeat at Tynecastle last month.

And there were more choice words hurled at him at the Indodrill Stadium as the Wasps fought back from two goals down to sting the Glasgow giants with a surprise 3-2 win.

But after Wednesday's defeat, McCoist said that he still did not do walking away.

And he explained his determination to see out the task of leading the club back to the top flight at yesterday's pre-match press conference ahead of today's Ibrox clash with Cowdenbeath.

"I think I've still got a job to do," he said. "I've said all along the job is to get the team back to the top flight, where we feel we belong.

"That hasn't altered. My focus hasn't altered. But we can't allow ourselves to shift our focus away from getting back to the top flight.

"Have I lost the confidence of the fans? No, no. As you would fully expect and understand, there has been a lot of discontent and unhappiness with Wednesday's result.

"It is up to ourselves to get the balance right. We had a good result on Sunday when we beat Kilmarnock 3-0. But we never got too carried away.

"Everybody has times in their job that are not so good. Wednesday was one of those, to put it mildly. But you do come back to earth and realise that you can't lose your focus."

The record 355 goals scored and nine championship medals collected by the 52-year-old during his 15 years as a Rangers player helped McCoist write himself a special chapter in the club's history books.

But he is in danger of damaging that legacy.

He has already presided over a number of damaging defeats but Alloa on Wednesday was undoubtedly his worst yet.

"I can't have a bearing on (how the fans view me), other than do my best to get results," he said. "People will make their own judgements.

"All I can do is assure the supporters I will be doing my level best, 100 per cent, to turn these performances around.

"I would ask them for their continued support for the team."

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