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McCoist denies Gers had lack of respect for Saints

Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist insists the decision to make mass changes for the Scottish Cup replay against St Mirren had nothing to do with a lack of respect for the opposition.

The holders made six changes from the side that defeated Hibs in style in the Scottish Premier League as they scraped a late win against Saints last night.

Kenny Miller, Steven Whittaker and Sasa Papac were rested, while the likes of Steven Smith and Maurice Edu were given a run-out from the start.

But McCoist says Rangers are simply trying to make the best use possible of a more compact squad than previous seasons, with some players still trying to regain match fitness after injury and others in need of some respite.

He said: "It was pleasing because we had five or six changes tonight and it's important we have a full squad to pick from. You then have options in terms of changing things and resting boys and keeping them fresh.

"It's important to mention that, just because you change the team, it doesn't mean you're doing it to underestimate the opposition -- far from it."

Kris Boyd grabbed the only goal of the game with four minutes to go to prevent the tie requiring extra-time.

McCoist added: "I wouldn't say they gave us a bit of a fright -- they gave us what we expected them to give us.

"I've seen them a few times and they are really well drilled, well organised, and they've got boys who are working hard for their team-mates. That's what they gave us."

Saints boss Gus MacPherson watched his side give Rangers another tough outing after holding them to a goalless draw at the first time of asking and felt his players deserved some credit.

He said: "I thought we played pretty well and we defended well for the majority of the game."