McCoist slams Rangers defence after Hibs loss

AFP| Updated: Sep 30, 2014, 06:47 AM IST

Rangers manager Ally McCoist slammed his side`s shambolic defending after they slipped to a 3-1 home defeat by promotion challengers Hibernian on Monday.

The two sides, more accustomed to meeting in Scotland`s top flight, were facing each other in the Championship for the first time following Hibernian`s surprise relegation last season and Rangers` promotion from League One.

After a poor start to their campaign, Hibernian came into the match second bottom while fallen Glasgow giants Rangers sat second in the table after a nine-match unbeaten run following an opening day defeat by Hearts, Hibs` Edinburgh rivals.

However, Hibs put their recent troubles aside to race into a 3-0 half-time lead as they tore the Rangers defence apart.

Jason Cummings scored either side of David Gray`s header to stun the Ibrox crowd before Nicky Law grabbed a second half consolation goal.

And Gers boss McCoist hit out at the standard of defending which left his side needing a miraculous second half comeback.

"The goals we lost were as poor as I can recall us conceding," he said.

“I think we started the game very brightly for 20 minutes but then the goalkeeper kicks the ball up the park and we lose a goal -- that`s just not on," the former Rangers and Scotland striker added.

"The second goal was poor and the third goal was a comedy of errors. I don`t think there is any doubt about it that to come in 3-0 at half-time you need a minor miracle to get back in it and it was too much to do.

"I thought we were the team in the ascendency and we shot ourselves completely in the foot.

"The defending and the standard of goals we conceded was unacceptable and we gave ourselves a mountain to climb.

"However, we cannot lose self-belief in our team. We have had discussions in the past about our defending and we`ve got to work on it. It`s important that we learn from this as a team and a squad." The Rangers fans turned on their side at the break and full-time as they vented their frustrations at the manager and the players, with defender Bilel Mohsni having to be dragged down the tunnel at half-time by his team-mates as he remonstrated with supporters.

Having now lost twice at home to the sides expected to be their main challengers for the one automatic promotion spot back to the top flight the Rangers manager said he understood the supporters` reaction.

"It is a marathon but we have now lost at home twice to our biggest rivals for automatic promotion. It is very concerning and it`s something we will certainly have to look at," McCoist, who is plotting his side`s return to the top flight following a three-year absence after they were kicked out for entering administration, admitted.

"Having played here for 15 years I can probably say I am completely aware of the passions generated around the stadium by the supporters."

The defeat left Rangers six points behind leader Hearts, who continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 5-0 demolition of Livingston on Saturday, and moved Hibs up to fifth spot in the league.

It is a first away win for Hibs following a shaky start but rookie boss Alan Stubbs was keeping his feet firmly on the ground.

"To come here tonight and win 3-1 is great for them. But at the end of the day it is only three points and we`re not going to get too carried away," Stubbs, who formerly played for Rangers` rivals Celtic, said.

"Hopefully we use this as a springboard."