McCoist accepts heavy responsibility of restoring pride

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Ally McCOIST insists Rangers will do everything in their power to help boost the image of Scottish football tonight when they face Maribor in the Europa League play-off.

The reputation of the game took a battering in last week’s first legs, with Rangers slumping to a 2-1 defeat in Slovenia, Celtic being held to a goalless draw at home by Swiss side Sion and Hearts coming off worst of all three with a 5-0 thrashing by Tottenham.

McCoist is well aware of the importance of turning around that deficit at Ibrox and says Rangers are up for the challenge.

He said: “I can only speak for our own club and it is important. We all have a responsibility to do our best for the co-efficient and we will do that.

“This is an opportunity for us to do our bit and we know how difficult the task will be but it’s not something we are shirking from. We feel we can do it and we will give it our best shot.”

Meanwhile, Sion defender Jose Goncalves revealed he has had messages of support from former Hearts teammates ahead of tonight’s clash with Celtic.

The Portuguese full-back revealed: “I still keep in touch with people in Edinburgh, Suso Santana and Zaliukas the captain wished me good luck for this game. I think they want us to win, yes. But I wouldn’t say we were the favourites, it is 50-50.”