Home » Rangers » Rangers manager Ally McCoist hopes to have five players back for Old Firm clash against Celtic

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Should Motherwell fail to beat League Cup winners Kilmarnock at Rugby Park the previous day then Neil Lennon’s team will have the opportunity to clinch the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title at Ibrox, an outcome which would add to the dismay threatening to smother the reigning champions.

Northern Ireland striker Kyle Lafferty, absent since tearing his hamstring in a 3-0 win over Motherwell on Jan 2, may be available.

First-choice central defenders Carlos Bocanegra and Dorin Goian were suspended for Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Dundee United while full-back Steven Whittaker has been in full training since Thursday.

Sasa Papac was ruled out of the visit to Tannadice due to illness but he, too, is likely to be fit to take his place against Celtic.

“I’m hoping some of the players we’ve had out can get a bit of training under their belts this week and can be involved,” McCoist told Blues News.

“It’s a big week for Kyle in terms of his training and his recuperation. He’s going to train with the boys in the early part of the week and hopefully there’s no reaction.

“If he comes through it all OK, there’s a possibility he will be involved at the weekend. It’s been a blow to our forward play to be without him and it would be nice to have him back.

“With Steven, there was a temptation to bring him back at Dundee United but it would have been a disaster for us and him if he’d been brought back too soon and suffered a recurrence.

“There’s no point in rushing people back at this stage. We just have to make sure we get bodies on the park and that they are fit.”

Calum Murray will referee Sunday’s match.

Meanwhile, a judge has been urged not to allow Rangers’ administrators, Duff and Phelps, to renege on a £24.4 million deal with Ticketus which gave the firm the right to sell 20,000 season tickets to the club’s fans for the next four years.

Discredited owner Craig Whyte effectively used the money to finance his takeover of the club, paying the £18 million debt to Lloyds Banking Group, although the remaining £6.4 million has not been paid into the club’s accounts.

Mr Ronald Clancy, QC for Ticketus, who are backing former director Paul Murray’s ‘Blue Knights’ consortium as they attempt to buy the club, questioned the motives of Duff and Phelps in going to the Court of Session to have their agreement ruled invalid.

“If parliament had intended administrators should have such a wide power to terminate contracts it would have granted those powers expressly,” he said.

Meanwhile, a legal technicality over Rangers’ status as a club in administration was resolved in a separate case at Court of Session.

Dunfermline hope to have a new manager in place in the middle of the week but there has been no movement on Monday over the potential appointment of Jim Jefferies.

Jefferies held talks with the club on Sunday over replacing Jim McIntyre but no deal was reached.

Both parties put their views across and it remains unclear whether the former Hearts and Kilmarnock manager will come to an agreement with the Dunfermline board.

The length of the contract is believed to be a stumbling block. Pars chairman John Yorkston has said they may need to go for a short-term option if a long-term choice is not available.

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