McCoist bullish but Rangers beset by injuries and suspensions

first_imgEwan Murray and Dominic Fifield Share via Email news McCoist bullish but Rangers beset by injuries and suspensions Share on Facebook Thu 17 Apr 2008 21.11 EDT Share on LinkedIn This article is more than 11 years old Share on Twitter First published on Thu 17 Apr 2008 21.11 EDT Rangers’ disappointment at losing Wednesday night’s Old Firm encounter intensified yesterday with the news that injuries to Lee McCulloch and Allan McGregor will cause them to miss a crucial part of the season’s run-in.Both players suffered damaged ankles in the 2-1 defeat at Parkhead and McCulloch could be absent for the rest of the campaign while McGregor, the goalkeeper who has been in tremendous form of late, faces at least a fortnight of recuperation. Rangers will be without them for the next Glasgow derby on Sunday week – a game for which Carlos Cuéllar is suspended – and both legs of the forthcoming Uefa Cup semi-final against Fiorentina.”It’s a blow to lose both players,” conceded Ally McCoist, the Rangers assistant manager. Kevin Thomson and Barry Ferguson are also out of Fiorentina’s visit to Ibrox in six days’ time through suspension.The Scottish Football Association, meanwhile, has confirmed that one-match bans have been imposed on Gary Caldwell and David Weir after the pair traded blows, moments after Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink scored a 94th-minute winner for Celtic. Weir will sit out Rangers’ Scottish Cup semi-final against St Johnstone on Sunday and Caldwell misses Celtic’s visit by Aberdeen tomorrow.Yet a bullish McCoist has predicted that the experience of Walter Smith, the Rangers manager, should be sufficient to guide the team to the Premier League title. Smith’s team remain a point ahead of Celtic with two games in hand. “The players will look to the manager, who has been over the course and distance on numerous occasions,” McCoist said. “We couldn’t have anybody better than Walter in these circumstances to look up to.”Rangers, meanwhile, will give 2,500 free tickets to their supporters for the away leg of the Uefa Cup semi-final at a cost of £50,000.Jens Lehmann may have played his last game for Arsenal with Arsène Wenger hopeful his first-choice goalkeeper, Manuel Almunia, will have recovered from a wrist injury to regain his place against Reading tomorrow.Almunia sustained the injury in training before last weekend’s trip to Manchester United, handing Lehmann only his fifth Premier League appearance of the season and his first start since mid-February. The German, who is out of contract in the summer and may retire following Euro 2008, performed capably enough at Old Trafford but would be replaced if Almunia proves his fitness today. “Maybe Manuel Almunia will be available, I don’t know,” said Wenger yesterday. “I will make a decision on Friday morning. He got injured in training on the Friday before Manchester. We sent him for a scan and there was an inflammation so he could not play.”Doubts remain over Mathieu Flamini’s long-term future at the Emirates and the France midfielder will miss the Reading match as he continues his rehabilitation from the ankle injury sustained at Anfield. Talks remain at an impasse betweenArsenal and Flamini’s agent over a new contract with a number of European clubs – including Juventus and Bayern Munich – keen to secure his services in the summer under the Bosman ruling. This article is more than 11 years old Soccer Rangers Topics Share on Pinterest Soccer Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook Share via Email Share on Messenger Share on Twitter Shares00 Ally McCoist Reuse this contentlast_img read more