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Pooling Power

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ALLY McCOIST admits it finally feels like he has a squad to choose from again as some players return from injuries and others push hard for places from the fringes.

The Rangers manager has had plenty of selection problems this season due to the size of his pool and some of the issues his players have encountered.

People such as Andy Little, David Templeton and Fran Sandaza have all been out for lengthy period while the likes of Seb Faure, Ross Perry and Emilson

Cribari are sidelined just now.

All three of them are close to returning though while Templeton and Sandaza were both on the bench at the weekend against Elgin.

The likes of Kevin Kyle, Kal Naismith, Chris Hegarty and Robbie Crawford have also made good impressions lately after starting the season very much on the outside.

That bodes well for the Light Blues at a time when they are starting to string a run of results together and are in their best form of their campaign yet going into the festive period.

McCoist said: “We’re getting one or two boys who have been out injured back now and that’s good.

“That’s good and while we’re still missing our regular centre-backs, I have to say Hegarty and Lee McCulloch have performed very well there.

“It definitely feels like there’s a bit of strength and depth in the group now. The good thing about that is it gives us a pleasant headache with regards to selection.

“That’s not just the case with the team but also benches and that’s important as it’s good to have potential game changers to come on.

“There’s definitely a feeling where we are building up a squad and there’s a fight for places in the starting XI and also amongst the substitutes.

“There are still three or four players to come in and rejoin us and once we get them back too, we’ll be delighted with where we are.”

In particular, McCoist now has a lot of players jostling for places in forward positions thanks to the recent good form of Kyle and Naismith.

Along with them, Little, Sandaza and Dean Shiels are looking to play and captain McCulloch is likely to move back up front too once the defensive problems clear.

In addition to that, Kane Hemmings is closing in on full fitness again while wingers Templeton, Barrie McKay and Fraser Aird will all want to be involved.

McCoist believes the challenge for those players is to prove to him they’re good enough to deliver what he wants after he recently said attack was an area he

wished he could strengthen.

He added: “That’s always the case. It’s important when players do get a chance that they grab it.

“You have to say a perfect example of that is how big Kevin and Kal have both done in the last couple of games with their goals. They have caught the eye.

“It’s always harder to break into the team than stay in it if you’re a man in possession of a starting jersey. If you do well, you’ll stay in the side.

“Competition breeds a healthy environment and up front we’ve got options in wide areas with Temps, Airdy and wee Baz. Andy can play there too.

“Even in training, people are having to put on a performance which makes the management sit up and take notice of them.”

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The teams gathering momentum and players are returning from injury.

I had my concerns that a few players weren't up for the battle. We've criticized training methods and all sorts im just glad we've been proved wrong. Instead of looking panicy after 30 mins without a goal we now just carry on playing as the team know the goals will come. Hopefully the blue toon win tonight then we can start to pull clear starting with stirling albion

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