McCoist gives backing to Whyte after TV accusations


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The Independent Football

Ally McCoist yesterday praised Craig Whyte and insisted his Rangers players were unaffected by the media storm which followed allegations made by the BBC about the Rangers owner on Thursday.

Whyte's purchase of the Glasgow club in May was one of the subjects addressed in the programme "Rangers: The Inside Story" but McCoist said of him: "He's been great, absolutely smashing. I spoke to the owner this morning as I always do and we had a good chat. We've got a good working relationship.

"We are both in total agreement that the most important thing that we have to focus on is Sunday's game at Tynecastle. I will not comment on any television programme."

The Rangers manager added: "My players are really focused and everybody should know that. Over the last four or five years there has been ups and downs as at any club. Our players to a man have remained wonderfully focused and they still are."

Whyte has denied all the claims in the documentary "in the strongest possible terms", withdrawn the club's co-operation from the BBC, and instructed lawyers to take legal action against the corporation.

Rangers, who lead the SPL by seven points from Motherwell, are at Hearts for a lunchtime kick-off tomorrow. Nikica Jelavic is doubtful after illness but Sasa Papac returns following a sinus problem. Hearts have their own problems with a number of senior players going unpaid. Their wages, which were due on Monday, "will be paid in the near future", said the club.

Motherwell are at home to Kilmarnock in today's lunchtime kick-off while third-placed Celtic host Aberdeen tomorrow. Kris Commons is suspended while Gary Hooper (ankle) and Georgios Samaras (bruised bone) are doubtful for the Hoops.