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Rangers vs Montrose (SFL 3rd) 26/01/2013 KO 15:00 GMT


Lofty.

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On Saturday Rangers take Montrose who are currently in third place, a full 22 points behind Rangers.

 

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Back in September, Rangers won the previous encounter at Ibrox 4-1 on the day before Ally McCoist's 56oth birthday, with goals from Dean Shiels, Lewis MacLeod, Lee McCulloch and Robbie Crawford, with Anestis Argyriou putting the ball into his own net for Montrose's solitary goal of the game.

 

Early indications are that Lee McCulloch may again be unavailable, Ally McCoist taking a cautious approach in order to improve the Rangers Captain's chances of being fully fit to face Dundee in the Scottish FA Cup on February 2nd. Incidentally Rangers have "declined to take tickets" for the match at Tannardice.

 

McCoist told RangersTV: “Lee is feeling a lot better. I spoke to him briefly and hopefully the break and the rest has done him the world of good.

 

“We will monitor him for the rest of the week and we certainly won’t take any chances with him."

 

 

 

 

 

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I think this season I'd have to say Rangers. For the first time ever, I've actually chosen to watch Rangers play rather than Chelsea when there's a fixture clash.

 

I honestly don't think it's got anything to do with the fact that Rangers are so far in front at the top of the table, after all they don't even know yet which division they'll be playing in next season. No I think it's the general atmosphere around Chelsea matches since the interim was given the job. It's depressing, it's stifling. Even when we win, the victory feels tainted. Proof if ever it were needed that having a manager you respect and have affection for makes all the difference. I enjoy watching Ally McCoist's interviews and press conferences. I haven't watched a single Benitez press conference.

 

There's no fixture clash this weekend, but if there were, I might very well again choose to watch Rangers.

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Ally McCoist today confirmed that Lee McCulloch will not be available against Montrose:

 

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LEE McCulloch has lost his battle to be fit for tomorrow’s Third Division clash with Montrose at Ibrox.

The Rangers captain has made an improvement in his fight with an ankle injury but is not quite ready to face Stuart Garden’s side tomorrow.

The striker has hit 22 goals this term for the Light Blues, and will be hoping to be fine for next Saturday’s crunch Scottish Cup clash with Dundee United at Tannadice.

Lee Wallace is expected to deputise once again for McCulloch as captain having done so for the last few games in his absence.

Fellow forward Francisco Sandaza is good-to-go despite suffering a slight facial injury in last week’s 1-0 win over Peterhead.

The Spaniard who hasn’t had his problems to seek with injury was in the wars again at Balmoor but is fit to face the Gable Endies.

Long-term injury casualty Kevin Kyle is still out while young defender Darren Cole will have an operation to sort his ankle-ligament damage.

Kal Naismith played 90 minutes for the reserves on Tuesday in their 4-0 win over Queen of the South and could find himself in contention again following a virus.

Ally McCoist’s squad are in relatively good shape ahead of the game and will be keen to make it three wins on the bounce with another victory in front of what is expected to be yet another bumper crowd.
 

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Despite an at-times somewhat lethargic performance, David Templeton's cross touched on by Andy Little almost on the stroke of half time looked like being enough to give Rangers all three points.

And then up popped substitute David Gray in the 89th minute with a wonder strike to rescue a point for Montrose.

The goal had arguably been coming. Six minutes from time, Montrose's best chance of the match to date came more as a result of poor defending than anything else. Fortunately for Rangers, the chance was squandered. A minute later, a freekick from just out the area was well saved by Neil Alexander.

Rangers had also come close to increasing their lead, seeing a point blank shot from Setanza well saved by the Montrose keeper, and an Ian Black free kick hit the woodwork but Rangers failed to add a second. Following the Montrose equaliser, a Barrie McKay shot was somehow saved and in the 92nd minute Ian Black again hit the post as Rangers piled on the pressure.

All in all a frustrating afternoon and a disappointing performance, with Rangers again failing to capitalise on their overall dominance. To add to the disappointment, Lewis McLeod was carried off injured in the 26th minute, but the extent of the injury is not yet known.

 

A huge banner at Ibrox proclaimed:

CARRY THE NOISE WITH THE BADGE ON YOUR CHEST GIVE THEN HELL AT TANNARDYCE

Which may be an indication that with the league title all but in the bag, the players had more than an eye on next week's Cup Tie.

The match was also marked by further tributes to Robert Learmonth, in the form of lone piper playing in the 54th minute, followed by a round of applause.

 


Rangers: Neil Alexander, Chris Hegarty, Ross Perry, Emilson Cribari, Lee Wallace, Andy Little, Kyle Hutton, David Templeton, Franco Sandaza, Dean Sheils

Subs: Scott Ghallacher , Barrie McKay, Ian Black Sebastian Faure, Robbie Crawford.
 

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This may seem like a foolish question but.... is the vast majority of Rangers fans from the old days still following the team to matches?  So is their relegation generating income for clubs from the lower division?

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moi: Yes Rangers supporters are travelling to away grounds in Div 3 and the clubs are having a financial windfall. Plus they get a split of the gate from the games at Ibrox.

 

Rangers as a club are not taking / selling any tickets for the 4th Round away Scottish Cup tie with Dundee Utd next week.

 

The Dundee Utd charman was quick to boot Rangers in the summer. Rangers have not forgotten this action.

 

Ally McCoist has also urged all Rangers supporters not to travel to this game.

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Guest RFC_CFC

I really hope that not one Rangers fan goes to Tannadice next week, Dundee Utd's reaction to all the bollocks last summer was a disgrace.

No doubt some will still go but the majority are in favour of the boycott, I wouldn't like to be on camera though at the game in the rangers end

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Guest RFC_CFC

It's a very unusual step surely for a manager to take - urging fans not to travel to an away match?

 

Has that ever been done before?

Don't think so.

But bridges were burnt a long time ago and they say you reap what you sow.

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