sport

McCoist: We've learned lessons

Ally McCoist admits Rangers were given an education about life in the Third Division by Peterhead in their opening league game of the season.

A scrappy last-gasp equaliser allowed the Light Blues to rescue a 2-2 draw from their first ever league match outside Scottish football's top-flight in August.

McCoist now wants his players to show they have learned from the lessons handed out that day when they return to Balmoor on Sunday.

He said: "It was introduction that will be with me for many years.

"Looking back, it was an education. Never mind the players, it was an education for the staff - myself included.

"We got an unbelievable welcome at Peterhead that day until the referee's first whistle and that's the way you would expect it.

"It showed us how difficult away matches and the opposition will be.

"A good number of our away matches have been televised and that certainly makes the opposition well up for the game.

"Our boys are used to playing in front of the cameras, the opposition aren't.

"But, believe me, they don't freeze. They do the complete opposite.

"They raise their game and good on them for doing that. It will be the same again on Sunday."

Rangers appear to have got over the problems they encountered on the road early in the campaign, but McCoist warned they will still have to work hard for any rewards, particularly away from home.

He added: "Most of the SFL teams will fancy their chances at home.

"Peterhead did enough in the first game, and in the game at Ibrox, to fancy their chances of getting something out of this game.

"With a bit of luck, our fans will know what to expect and so will our players.

"Anything we get, we will have to earn.

"We will have to get the sleeves rolled up and match their natural aggression to go and win the game."

Rangers sit 19 points clear at the summit ahead of the weekend action.

McCoist said: "Things have changed massively - but we've only come a short way, if that makes sense.

"It's changed in the respect that the boys now know what to expect.

"It's still new to them but, when they go to places like Peterhead, Annan, Berwick, East Stirling, they know what to expect now.

"That's a big change for them. It might seem like a small thing but it's a big part of the learning curve.

"There has been progress in terms of our league position and points and where we are - but we've still got a long way to go."