Rangers manager Ally McCoist has challenged his players to react positively to their shock defeat by Falkirk when they face Dunfermline tomorrow – and Pars manager Jim McIntyre has warned his players to be ready for a backlash.
The SPL champions started the week on a high by beating Celtic 4-2 in the first Old Firm derby of the season to move four points clear in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
But they followed that with a shock 3-2 loss at Falkirk in the Scottish Communities League Cup, losing a late goal to Mark Millar’s free-kick after fighting back from two goals down.
McCoist has told his players they cannot just raise their game for Old Firm encounters and must realise every match for Rangers is a big occasion.
And he wants to see the right attitude at East End Park tomorrow lunchtime.
McCoist told the club’s website: “As I’ve said 100 times, the Celtic game is massive but it’s not the be all and end all.
“It’s no use performing out of your skin against them if you can’t do it elsewhere.
“That’s the biggest thing about playing at this football club – you have to be able to do it in every game and we need a good reaction now.”
McIntyre is anticipating one of those when his team host the champions.
“They’ll certainly be disappointed, and any time you lose a game you look for the reaction in the next match,” McIntyre warned.
“They were fabulous last weekend against Celtic and we know when the champions come to town that they have top players. We’ll need 11 players on top form to have a chance. That’s not being pessimistic – it’s facts.
“They have better players than us, but that doesn’t always win you the game. We need to be organised and disciplined, but at the same time we need to take our chances and try to play with a freedom.”