Rangers drop Fleck after bust-up

02 August 2009 12:21
Rangers have refused to comment about a bust-up between coach Ally McCoist and John Fleck that has led to the teenage forward being dropped to the reserves.The 17-year-old swore at the assistant manager after McCoist criticised Fleck for missing a chance while they were training-ground five-a-side team-mates. Fleck was not in the Rangers squad for this weekend's Emirates Cup. And, instead of facing Arsenal in London on Sunday, will play against Glentoran in Northern Ireland. Fleck was the star man, scoring two goals and setting up two others, as Rangers defeated Portadown 6-1 on Thursday. And, on Friday, McCoist told Rangers' website that Fleck was sent with the reserves "for his own benefit" because he needed more game time. "The situation is that we want John to get games and that's why he has been given to the reserves," the assistant told Rangers' website. "We felt it was more beneficial for him to do that rather than come to London and maybe only get short periods." Fleck, the jewel in the crown of the talent emerging from Rangers' Murray Park training facility, made his first-team debut as a 16-year-old in a Scottish Cup tie against East Stirlingshire in January 2008. Although he made his Scotland Under-21 debut in March this year, Fleck has to date made only 13 appearances, six from the substitutes' bench, for Rangers and has become frustrated at not yet having become a first-team regular. And the attacking midfielder was particularly disappointed not to feature last month against Nuremberg while Charlie Adam, whose future at Ibrox looks to be coming to an end, played in the pre-season friendly. Fleck rejected the overtures of Manchester United and other major European clubs to sign for his beloved Rangers, so there is little possibility of his dissatisfaction leading to a transfer request. Instead, he will view manager Walter Smith's decision to send him to Northern Ireland as part of a steep learning curve. Sent with the reserves along with Fleck was fellow forward Alan Gow, who it was decided also needed game time. Gow has made just two first-team appearances for Rangers since moving from Falkirk in 2005 and ended last season on loan to Norwich City as they were relegated from the Championship in England. Meanwhile, Adam could be poised to complete his protracted £500,000 move to Blackpool, the Championship side for which he played on loan last term. The 23-year-old was also missing from the Rangers squad for Saturday's 1-0 win over Paris St Germain.

Source: BBC_Sport