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Ally steeled as Ibrox clearout begins

By Lisa Gray

Rangers 1 Hearts 2: Rangers manager Ally McCoist will not deliver the bad news personally to any players who are told they have lost their jobs today.

But he has promised to be waiting outside the room to offer his support to those who are axed by administrators Duff and Phelps as part of cost-cutting measures to keep the club alive.

The finance firm say they must find savings of £1million per month to ensure the ongoing viability of the business and decisions on job cuts are likely to be delivered today.

McCoist said: “It's not my job, I'm not making anybody redundant, I'm not telling anybody they have lost their job.

“I won't be in with the players but I will be waiting outside if and when it happens.

“My job is to support and be there, which I will be. It's been really difficult for everybody. The one thing I would do is pay tribute to the entire staff — not just the players and the coaching staff but everybody here.

“Morale and an inner-strength to keep going and be there for each other, to me, is really evident and very strong. That will help us get through it.”

McCoist also decared himself ‘staggered’ at Saturday’s 2-1 Ibrox defeat by Hearts after skipper Steven Davis put Gers ahead.

Ian Black levelled for Hearts and the visitors then claimed victory when Jamie Hamill converted at the second attempt following a controversial penalty award by referee Crawford Allan.

McCoist said: “Quite frankly, I'm staggered that we got beat. I generally don't talk about the refereeing decisions. There's nothing I can do that will change refereeing decisions but all I would say is I thought it was questionable.”

The game is likely to be the last time the current crop of players play together as a team before redundancies take place.

Asked what he said in his team talk before the game, McCoist said: “I didn't say anything different. I just asked them to go out and do what they could for each other and for the support.

“I've got to say, they absolutely did that. They ran themselves into the ground. I just can't believe we got beat.

“The players, in terms of their attitude to play and their desire to play and their ability to work for each other and the support in view of the circumstances, gave everything they had.”

Hearts scorer Black acknowledged his side’s win came against a backdrop of financial crisis at Rangers but believes they deserved the three points regardless of the turmoil being experienced by their opponents.

He said: “You sympathise with them and what they are going through. It's not a nice thing but they've got quality and we did well and worked hard and deserved it.”

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