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Rangers manager Ally McCoist defends Steve Simonsen

By Lisa Gray

Rangers boss Ally McCoist stands four square behind Steve Simonsen following the stand-in keeper's costly mistake in the 3-1 William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final defeat to Dundee United – but has little sympathy for his social media troubles.

The 35-year-old closed his Twitter account after the abuse received in the wake of his error, which gifted Tannadice striker Nadir Ciftci clinching the third goal at Ibrox on Saturday.

Simonsen was drafted in for only his second game since joining the Scottish League One champions last season after Cammy Bell suffered concussion, and may remain in goal for the clash with Forfar at Ibrox tonight if the Gers number one is not declared fit.

However, McCoist all but dismissed the former Everton, Stoke and Dundee keeper's Twitter decision.

"It makes me feel he shouldn't have been on it in the first place to be quite honest," he said.

"Maybe I am an old dinosaur but I am seeing more negatives than positives from players on Twitter at the moment.

"I have said before, we have to be extremely guarded in what we do and what we say. Of course it was a mistake, an error, he is the first one to admit that.

"He also had probably the best save I've seen this season up at Forfar, one of the best three I've seen anywhere this season, so you take the good with the bad.

"As I say, on these social network sites you run the risk of taking abuse from a certain type of individual."

McCoist retained his arms-length policy about the club's seemingly-endless boardroom squabbles, but insists they do not alter his belief that Rangers will get back to where they were before administration and liquidation in 2012 resulted in them relaunching in the bottom tier of Scottish football.

The row between Dave King and the Rangers board intensified on Sunday night after he issued another statement questioning its integrity.

The former Ibrox director on Friday urged Light Blues fans not to buy season tickets and accused the board of an "extreme act of bad faith."

The South Africa-based Glaswegian was upset that the club have asked fans to renew their season tickets before the completion of a 120-day review of the business's operations.

Rangers, who have referred the matter to legal advisers, noted King's initial statement "with astonishment" and said he had made "a number of untrue allegations", but have not responded to the latest comments.

Meanwhile, the Ibrox club announced a new three-year shirt sponsorship deal with online casino company, 32Red, which starts from July.

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