McCoist: denying Celtic the SPL title was our motivation

26 March 2012 07:17

Ally McCoist was adamant the opportunity to deny Celtic a Clydesdale Bank Premier League title party at Ibrox was not the motivation behind Rangers' 3-2 win in Sunday's Old Firm derby.

Victory would have allowed the Hoops to clinch the trophy at the home of their greatest rivals. However, the celebrations were put on hold as the beleaguered Scottish champions claimed victory on a day when three players saw red and Celtic boss Neil Lennon was sent to the stand.

McCoist said: "I know you won't believe me but I didn't want to win the game to stop Celtic winning the title. I'm not interested in that to be honest with you. I wanted to win the game because we were playing our biggest rivals in one of the biggest fixtures of the season. There was no more pressure, no more desire."

He added: "I've been really fortunate to have been involved in so many Old Firm games and it would be wrong of me to tell you that I wanted to win one more than another because that's not the case. I've wanted to win every one as much as the previous one and the next one."

Celtic were reduced to nine men when Cha Du-Ri was sent off for a foul on Lee Wallace on the edge of the box, before Victor Wanyama was dismissed for a challenge on Steven Whittaker, with Lennon sent to the stand at half-time. Rangers' own numbers were reduced when referee Calum Murray sent off Carlos Bocanegra for a foul on Georgios Samaras.

Asked for his thoughts on the match's flashpoints, McCoist said: "The game has changed. The problem is that we probably need to change with it. I'm not saying it has necessarily changed for the better because unfortunately nowadays there is no such thing as a foul - it's either a yellow or red card. The referee is only applying the laws the way he sees it.

"Did he (Cha) prevent a goalscoring opportunity? Probably. Is it a soft sending-off? Probably.

"Did Wanyama go in with a two-footed tackle? Probably. Did he set out to harm the player? Definitely not in my opinion.

"With Bocanegra, is he last man preventing a goal-scoring opportunity? Again, probably.

"I think the referee certainly has a case to say he was right in every decision but the reason managers and coaches probably get a little bit upset about it is just because the game has definitely changed."

Source: PA