McCoist: Forget my bust-up with Lennon, Old Firm is all about players

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Ally McCoist insists tomorrow's Old Firm derby is all about the players, not about himself and Neil Lennon.

The pair clashed at the end of a particularly fiery Scottish Cup tie between the sides back in March. McCoist has since been promoted from his role as Walter Smith's assistant and is preparing to go head to head with Lennon in the dugout for the first time.

Asked if the match at Ibrox is a chance for him to get one up on Lennon, McCoist insisted: "Not at all. I know that's not the answer you wanted to hear but it's about the two teams. I want our team to go out and play well and win the game. Once that whistle goes, there is nothing the managers can do. They can tweak formations and change players but the most important people in Old Firm games are the players on the park. It's the players who will, hopefully, win us the game."

McCoist says this game will be no different to any other Old Firm derby, adding: "The scrutiny on the players and coaches and management is always there. It's something you've got to handle and it's something the players and coaches and management staff will, hopefully, handle.

"The expectancy levels to have discipline should be the same no matter what the game is throughout the country. It goes without saying that, because of the size of the game and the focus on the game, there is far more scrutiny on ourselves."

Lennon has several players back in contention. Captain Scott Brown and striker Anthony Stokes are fighting to recover from their respective ankle and thigh injuries which kept them out of the Europa League defeat at Atletico Madrid, with the former looking to have the better chance.

Defender Daniel Majstorovic, who was banned for the trip to Spain, and left-back Badr El-Kaddouri, who was cup-tied, are both back in the squad.

PA

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