McCoist defends Old Firm bore draw

Rangers assistant rejects criticism of Sunday’s derby ahead of tricky Cup tie

Ally McCoist, the Rangers assistant manager, asked detractors of the Old Firm to “cut the players some slack” following the criticism of the goalless derby at Parkhead.

Celtic emerged from Sunday’s remarkably drab encounter in the east end of Glasgow still two points clear of Rangers at the top of the Premier League but the quality of football on show was slated by pundits and supporters of both clubs.

The former Rangers striker McCoist, who will take charge of the side for tonight’s Scottish Cup trip to Forfar Athletic, asked for the game to be put in to context.

“It wasn’t a good game but I can’t remember the last 0-0 draw,” he said. “I think it was the second 0-0 Old Firm game in around 10 years. And although I might be wrong, I don’t think I played in one – and I played in more than 50 of them.

“So why don’t we just cut the players a bit of slack in this one, eh? I think the criticism has been a wee bit over the top. In Old Firm games in recent years, you’ve had a 4-2 and a 3-2.

“I agree it wasn’t a great game but I’m not going overboard in saying how poor it was. In an ideal world, you would hope it is a great game with goals flying in left, right and centre and with great pieces of skill. Make no mistake about it, we want to play entertaining teams and entertaining football, that’s the second most important thing to winning for me.”

The striker Steven Naismith, who came on as a second-half substitute on Sunday, admits it was only after he watched the game on television that he realised how poor it had been.

However, the former Kilmarnock player also called for the critics to give the players some leeway. He said: “During the game, you are too busy looking at what your own team are doing, so you are not concentrating on how the game in general is going. So it wasn’t until I watched the highlights that I noticed it wasn’t the greatest of games.

“But every game can’t be a 3-3 draw; they all can’t be brilliant. The last two Old Firm games have not been the greatest of games but every other one has been entertaining. There was a 3-0 at Ibrox, which was entertaining, and a couple at Parkhead towards the end of last season were entertaining. It’s all about getting results. We would take boring 1-0 wins all season. You obviously want to put a good performance on but you can’t do that on every time.”

Rangers will get the chance to rack up the goals against Forfar when they take on the Third Division side at Station Park. However, McCoist insists it is the fear of being on the wrong end of a cup shock which – would match the 1967 defeat at Berwick Rangers – that will inspire the Ibrox players.

He said: “This is what playing for the Old Firm is all about, going to places like this in the Cup. Make no mistake about it, you are playing for your pride because you are a scalp, a massive, massive scalp to those boys. And if they get you, you don’t forget it for the rest of your life.”

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn