Scottish football: Rangers boss Ally McCoist admits concern over next season's rivals
Rangers boss Ally McCoist admits he is concerned as to the high standard of opposition his side will face next season.
Last Updated: 22/04/14 6:49pm
Having strolled to the League One title against part-time rivals, the Ramsdens Cup finalists - with the second highest wage bill in Scottish football - will be mixing it with full-time rivals in the Championship next term.
Hearts, who were relegated after being docked points for entering administration last summer, will prove an obvious obstacle to promotion and they could be joined in the second tier by Edinburgh rivals Hibernian, who currently find themselves in freefall towards the Premiership play-off spot.
Dundee and Falkirk look likely to give way to Hamilton in the race for the Championship title and will also await Ally McCoist's side, who are battling their way through the lower leagues after oldco Rangers was consigned to liquidation in the summer of 2012.
McCoist, who admits he is unsure of his budget for next season due to the financial uncertainty surrounding the Ibrox club, said: "The prospect of a big club like Hibs coming down worries me.
"No-one has a God-given right to win games. I've already said it will be a heck of a competitive and interesting league. We don't know who will be coming down and there is a few twists and turns to come out of the next two or three weeks, which I'm looking forward to watching.
"Hibs have been mentioned but there are three or four of them down there fighting to avoid that play-off place, so it will make it really interesting for
our league next year whoever plays in that play-off and ends up coming down."
Having secured the League One title at a canter, Rangers' bid for a domestic treble faltered when they lost to Raith Rovers and Dundee United - in the Ramsdens Cup and Scottish Cup - in the space of six days earlier this month.
And despite McCoist insisting those defeats failed to dampen spirits among his players, he is keen to put this 'testing' season behind him.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday's home match against Ayr United he said: "I'm looking forward to my holiday, if that's what you are asking me? But we've got three big games left and, even before that, a lot of planning to do for next season.
"We have to look at pre-season, squads, players - a lot of work is still to be done. I wouldn't say it has been a wearing season - it's been testing, but that is what you expect being manager of Rangers.
"It's been a tougher job that I imagined it would be on the day I took it, with everything that has happened. We didn't have any idea it would lead to administration and liquidation, so from that angle it has thrown up a lot more challenges than I thought it would initially.
"But you just have to meet those challenges head on as best as you can and we have done that. I hope it's made me stronger for it."