Football

McCoist keen to avoid early exit

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Ally McCoist hopes the bitter memory of their shock Champions League exit to Kaunas three years ago will be enough to ensure Rangers manage to avoid another disappointment against Malmo.

The loss against the Lithuanians in 2008 resulted in Rangers crashing out of Europe completely just a few months after competing in the UEFA Cup final and McCoist says his players do not need to be reminded of the importance of securing their place in the Champions League group stages.

"We don't have to hammer home the message to people. Believe me, the players know," he said.

"There were a good few of them involved when we were knocked out by Kaunas and I would hope that the ones who have been there before and suffered it and tasted it don't want to do that again.

"I don't have to reinforce anything. The team and everybody involved at the club know the importance of the fixture, there is no doubt about that at all."

While Rangers suffered disappointment in their SPL curtain-raiser against Hearts at the weekend, Malmo's own domestic campaign is already well under way.

McCoist said: "They would certainly be ahead of us in that department, there is no doubt about that. They will be match ready. They are a team who are very, very fit. But we've got to be ready.

"There is no point doing a pre-season if you're not ready for the start of the season. On Saturday against Hearts, the first half didn't go to plan but I don't think that was anything to do with fitness levels, it just wasn't a great performance in the first half. We will be ready for this game."

On Malmo, he added: "As you would expect, any team who win their league must have a good amount of talent and they've got that. Without giving too much away, they probably look a better team going forward. They've got players who can hurt you and damage you in the more forward areas but so have we.

"It's going to be a tough game for us, we have seen enough of them in the last 48 to 72 hours to see that they are more than capable of posing problems for any team. But you would expect that, any team that wins their championship must have something - and they do have something."

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Topics:
Europa League
European News
Football
UEFA Champions League

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