Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Tantrum puts Rangers' Boyd at risk of being dropped for cup final

Striker returns to training but club are silent on chances of him facing Celtic on Sunday

The Rangers striker Kris Boyd is back at training following an alleged bust-up with his manager Walter Smith, but it is unclear whether the striker will have a part to play in Sunday's Cooperative Insurance Cup final.

Boyd was reportedly sent home from Murray Park yesterday after receiving a dressing-down from a furious Smith over his attitude at being dropped for last Sunday's Scottish Cup win over Hamilton.

Reports claim his apparent show of petulance after being named on the substitutes' bench for the quarter-final tie has now cost him any chance of being involved in this weekend's game with Celtic, as the Old Firm contest the first silverware of the season.

Assistant manager Ally McCoist refused to divulge details of the altercation, insisting: "Unfortunately, I've got no comment to make at all on any situation involving Kris Boyd and the manager. That's between those two. I don't know enough about it, to be honest."

And, asked whether Boyd would be in the squad for Hampden, McCoist added: "I'm not sure because we haven't sat down and spoken about the squad we are going to pick. There will be about 25 or 26 players available and then we will narrow it down and take a squad away and train on Friday."

But the Ibrox assistant manager claimed the events of the last 48 hours would not affect his own thoughts on who should face their bitter rivals.

"He is not ruled out by me, but you would have to ask the manager," McCoist said. "There is nothing that has happened that will prevent me from giving my idea of the best team to start. That will not change, I'll give an honest opinion. We will all sit down and give honest opinions on the team we think should start and that's the way it should be and that's the way it will be.

"All our strikers have qualities. Boydy scores goals, Kenny Miller has pace and also chips in with goals, Kyle Lafferty recently scored two and Nacho Novo is coming back and he's a thorn in anyone's side. They have all got different qualities and it's our job as managers and coaches to select what we think will be the right qualities from different players to get a result at the weekend."

McCoist himself was no stranger to the bench as a Rangers player, despite his legendary goalscoring record for the club, and is perhaps the best-placed person at Ibrox to understand Boyd's frustration when left out.

He said: "I'd be more disappointed if anybody – not specifically Kris Boyd – isn't in the team and they are happy. Then we've got a problem – make no mistake about that. There was probably no one dropped from a team more often than myself at certain points in my career so that's fine.

"It's part and parcel of being a member of an Old Firm squad, you have to conduct yourself fine when you're on the park and, equally, you have to conduct yourself well off the park. That goes for any Old Firm player."

McCoist denied there was unrest within the Rangers dressing room heading into a crucial part of the season as the only team in Scotland still contesting a domestic treble.

"Our camp has been absolutely fantastic," he said. "You are going to get disappointment when you lose a league game to Inverness, but it's about how you react to it and I thought we reacted in a very positive manner in the game against Hamilton.

"There has been no unrest at all in our camp."