McCoist sees Sammon as main threat to Rangers' cup ambitions
Published 06/01/2011 | 05:00
Rangers assistant boss Ally McCoist has pinpointed Conor Sammon as Kilmarnock's danger man in Monday night's Scottish Cup fourth-round clash at Ibrox.
The Gers are still smarting from their Scottish Premier League defeat at home to Celtic on Sunday, which put a dent in their title aspirations, and will face a buoyant Killie side who have taken 23 points from their last available 30.
McCoist believes that Dubliner Sammon, who has already served notice of his threat when he scored twice in a 3-2 SPL defeat to Rangers at Rugby Park earlier in the season on his way to a current tally of 15, is the man who can scupper Rangers' cup hopes.
"Kilmarnock now have got a new confidence about them and they look as if they are capable of scoring goals," McCoist, who was a terrace hero at Ibrox before moving to Kilmarnock at the end of his career.
"They have always been solid at the back and Manuel Pascali, Frazer Wright and boys like that are no-nonsense defenders. They also have a good goalkeeper, but I think the one thing they have got going for them is they look as if they are capable of scoring against any opposition.
"Sammon has been one of the players of the season without a doubt and I think it's important that all successful teams have a recognised goalscorer. We are lucky enough to have Kenny Miller and he has been banging in all sorts of goals. That's been a massive bonus for us.
"Kilmarnock, in previous years, were always strong defensively but you could maybe criticise them a little bit for not having an out-and-out goalscorer. This season they certainly look as if they have that in Sammon."
In the wake of the Old Firm defeat and in view of Killie's form, there is an expectancy of an exciting cup tie at Ibrox, and McCoist is certainly anticipating a tough night.
"It's a tough draw for us," he said. "Kilmarnock are one of the teams of the season and they are playing very well. They got a well-deserved draw at Celtic Park recently and made it very difficult for us at Rugby Park in November.
"In fact you could argue that we were a little fortunate to beat them 3-2 down there. Mixu Paatelainen has got them playing well, playing football and playing from the back.
"They have the big lad up front (Sammon) who is having a bit of a purple patch, but we will always be confident.
"It's a home tie and that's all we can ask for, albeit a Monday night is a strange one. I don't remember many Monday nights at Ibrox, but we are looking forward to it."