sport

McCoist eyes further progress

Ally McCoist has targeted further progress in 2014 as Rangers prepare to bring down the curtain on what has been another challenging year.

The Light Blues boss guided the Glasgow giants to the Third Division title in May following what was at times a difficult season in Scottish football's bottom tier.

The current campaign has seen Rangers launch a more convincing assault on the lower divisions this time around with a commanding lead at the summit of Scottish League One.

The only blots on the copybook so far have been the League Cup exit to Forfar in August, before dropping their first points of the season against Stranraer on Boxing Day.

Much of the on-field action in recent months has played out against a backdrop of off-field uncertainty, as a bitter power struggle in the Ibrox boardroom was only brought to an end by this month's AGM.

Overall, McCoist has been satisfied with the last 12 months but insists Rangers must endeavour to ensure they remain on the right track as their journey back to the top of the Scottish game continues.

He said: "We have been delighted with the progress made and the transformation has been quite incredible.

"But it's going to have to be equally as incredible to keep going and move up the leagues.

"The performances this year, and the improvement from the start of the season on last year, has been pretty evident.

"We have been delighted but that will have to continue."

Reflecting on 2013, McCoist added: "We've had some lows in terms of some of the results here at Ibrox towards the end of last season, as well as the cup results.

"Highs would be winning the league and seeing the reaction from the players and the supporters.

"It was fantastic coming down the road from Montrose on the team bus when we won the league.

"In the last game of the season at home against Berwick, the supporters were unbelievable. They would certainly be the highs.

"As you would expect, there have been one or two lows during the year as well."

McCoist now wants to see Rangers end the year on a high with a win against Dunfermline on Monday.

As their closest rivals in the league, and a fellow full-time club in a largely part-time division, the Gers boss knows the visit to East End Park could represent one of their toughest challenges so far.

He said: "I would have to say that I thought Stranraer's levels of fitness were very good.

"I definitely think the fitness levels of the part-time teams are as high as they've ever been.

"That said, full-time training should tell.

"And Dunfermline were certainly as fit, if not fitter, than the majority of teams we have played in the league."