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Rangers' McCoist delighted for home comfort as they avoid Celtic clash

By Lisa Gray

RANGERS manager Ally McCoist admitted he could not be any happier with the William Hill Scottish Cup draw after his side were paired at home to Ayr or Dunfermline.

Much of the talk before the balls came out was about the prospect of the Old Firm resuming hostilities and neither came out among the first five ties.

But Celtic were then paired with Aberdeen, and Rangers were given an Ibrox meeting with one of their League One rivals, who battle it out tomorrow in a fourth-round replay at East End Park.

Former Rangers striker Kenny Miller, who is doing his rehabilitation from knee surgery at the club's Murray Park training ground, was told by the Ibrox squad and staff to give them a home tie and McCoist was not disappointed.

McCoist, whose team host Forfar in League One tonight, said: "A lot of the boys were watching the draw and we were getting a bit twitchy about what might happen with a few ties to go.

"All I asked of our former striker was a home tie and we're delighted he's given us that as it's with a team from the same division as us.

"I couldn't be any happier. You can't pick and choose who you get but all you can ask is to be drawn at home."

Rangers will be seeking their 19th consecutive win when they host Forfar, who were the last team to beat them, in the League Cup in August.

But McCoist knows either of the potential Cup opponents can give Rangers a tough test, having secured two-goal victories over each this season.

"Whoever we face it'll be tough," McCoist said. "Think back to the game Dunfermline gave us at home, where the score was 0-0 at half-time and we had three boys hurt.

"We'll know what to expect if it's them, while at Ayr there was nothing in it until we scored two wonder goals down there.

"As happy as we are with a home tie, we know it'll be a difficult game. We'll watch their game on Wednesday."

Rangers will set a post-war club record for consecutive victories if they beat Forfar.

McCoist said: "We've had two really tough games against them this season, one which was well-documented in the League Cup.

"The other was a hard-fought 1-0 victory up there so this will be a tough game.

"It's an opportunity again for us to continue our good league form against a team who will be very difficult."

SCOTTISH CUP FIFTH-ROUND DRAW: Alloa v Dumbarton, Clyde or Stranraer v Inverness, Hibernian v Raith Rovers, Albion Rovers v Stenhousemuir, Brechin or Forfar v St Johnstone, Celtic v Aberdeen, Dundee Utd v Queen of the South or St Mirren, Rangers v Ayr United or Dunfermline.

Ties to be played on February 8-9

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