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McCoist: Players are to blame
Published : 10 Mar 2013 13:32:00
Ally McCoist lamented an "unacceptable" performance from his side as Rangers slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Annan at Ibrox on Saturday. The club's chief executive Charles Green kicked off a heated debate when he claimed earlier this week that he presides over "probably the worst Rangers team ever seen" and Annan, only elected to the Scottish Football League five years ago, asked plenty of questions of the league leaders and left Glasgow having created their own bit of history. "It was a really, really poor 90 minutes," said McCoist. "The players know what is expected of them at this club and they dropped below those standards. I didn't have harsh words with them in the dressing room, I just told them that it was unacceptable. "You have days like this at a club like ours and sometimes it is just a poor result but our level of performance was more disappointing than the result. "If one or two players thought it was a case of turning up and getting an SFL Third Division medal then that is certainly not the case. I don't know the reason for that performance but I can assure you we will go over it together in detail on Monday morning, establish what went wrong and ensure it doesn't happen again." The players' performance also raised questions regarding the ability of the current squad and improvements that may be required. In that respect McCoist was honest when he said: "The performance confirmed what we knew, that there is still a lot of work to be done and that we need to strengthen our team. "It is not outrageous to say that everybody, including management, coaches and playing staff, are playing for their future here." Although the Rangers fans aired their disapproval, especially when Annan took a two-goal lead through leading scorer Ally Love and man of the match David Hopkirk inside the first 10 minutes of the second half - there was also an air of acceptance from the Ibrox faithful. They also recognised that the result was no fluke and that the Dumfries side thoroughly deserved their historic win. Despite Andy Little nodding home his 24th goal of the season to reduce the lead and Lee McCulloch twice being denied an equaliser by good saves from Alex Mitchell, nothing could detract from a wonderful day out for the small pocket of Annan fans. It was also an incredible first visit to Ibrox for Jim Chapman, who only took over as the manager at Annan in January, and celebrated an unbelievable first win as boss. "The players were fantastic," he said. "They worked very hard and had some breaks but I thought they deserved the result. Football is all about one on ones and I told the players that if they won their personal battles they could win the game. "Ibrox is a fantastic arena and and I told the players the scoreboard is for the fans and don't get excited. "However, when I looked at the scoreboard and we were leading 2-0 I had to control my emotions. But although I expected Rangers to be stronger in the second half I have to credit my players who came with a game plan. Not many teams will come to Ibrox and win so I'm absolutely delighted."