sport

McCoist: No blame on keeper

Rangers manager Ally McCoist has leapt to the defence of goalkeeper Steve Simonsen after his error killed off his side's chances of reaching the Scottish Cup final.

A goal late in the first half from Stevie Smith had given Rangers hope after they had fallen 2-0 behind to Dundee United in last Saturday's semi-final at Ibrox.

But a howler from the former Tranmere and Everton keeper, who failed to deal with a Ricky Foster pass back, allowed United striker Nadir Ciftci to walk the ball into an empty net and secure United's place against St Johnstone at Celtic Park on May 17.

After the match Simonsen came under fire from fans of a number of clubs on social media, resulting in the former England U21 international closing his Twitter account.

But, while admitting the error - and a number of missed chances - put paid to his side's cup hopes, McCoist is refusing to single out the 35-year-old, a replacement for regular keeper Cammy Bell who was ruled out after suffering concussion earlier in the week.

Speaking ahead of Tuesday's League One clash against Forfar, he said: "I may be an old dinosaur but I am seeing more negatives than positives from players on Twitter at the moment.

"I have said before we have to be extremely guarded as to what we do and what we say. Of course it was a mistake and he would be the first to admit that.

"But he also made one of the best saves I have seen all season up at Forfar, one of the top three saves I have seen anywhere this season.

"So you take the good with the bad and as I say with these social networking sites you run the risk of taking abuse from a certain type of individual.

"He is obviously extremely disappointed but I said after the game and I'll say it again, we win and lose as a team.

"Individual errors did cost us but we also missed chances which would have affected the scoreline. It is certainly not an individual we are blaming at all."