Rangers: Ally McCoist 'still committed' after handing in notice

Ally McCoist on the touchline as Rangers lose in Dumfries
Ally McCoist watched his side lose 2-0 to third-top Queen of the South in Dumfries

Ally McCoist insists he will continue as Rangers manager despite refusing to deny that he has handed in his notice.

The 52-year-old was speaking after his side slumped to a 2-0 defeat by Queen of the South in Dumfries.

McCoist has a 12-month rolling contract with the Scottish Championship club, who it is understood cannot afford financially to pay him off.

"I am the Rangers manager and that will be the case hopefully for the foreseeable future," he said.

Asked if he thought he would still be in charge next season, McCoist replied "absolutely", although it is understood that he tendered his resignation on Thursday.

Rangers have refused to comment officially about the manager's position and, with most of the club's board in London for the next 48 hours, no talks are planned about an immediate exit.

The Glasgow club are in the position of having to pay his salary of £400,000 per year up in full, come to a settlement, or keep him in place for the next 12 months.

McCoist refused to comment on what he described as "speculation" about his future but stressed that he remained "100% committed to getting Rangers into the top flight".

Kenny Miller and Ally McCoist joke during training on Thursday
Ally McCoist (right) seemed to be in high spririts as he joked during Thursday's training

He said he had "no idea" if it would be his last match in charge but stressed "I hope not".

McCoist had come under increasing pressure after his side slipped nine points behind Championship leaders Hearts.

It intensified after a surprise 3-2 defeat by part-timers Alloa Athletic in the Petrofac Training Cup semi-final and, following the defeat in Dumfries, the manager admitted that the Edinburgh side were now "strong favourites" for the Championship title and automatic promotion.

Bellshill-born McCoist was a Rangers player for 15 years as well as playing for St Johnstone, Sunderland, Kilmarnock and Scotland.

He had been assistant manager at Ibrox under Walter Smith and stepped up as his successor in summer 2011 while Rangers were still in the Scottish Premier League.

Following Rangers' financial problems and the departure of several top players as they headed into administration, McCoist famously said: "We don't do walking away."

He subsequently led the side from the bottom tier of Scottish football by winning two consecutive league titles.

They began this season as favourites for the Scottish Championship title, but attendances have fallen significantly amid continued fan dissatisfaction with the board and criticism of on-field performances.

Queen of the South celebrate their victory over Rangers
Third-top Queen of the South narrowed the gap on Rangers after their win

The possibility of McCoist remaining at Ibrox has not prevented bookmakers issuing odds on the next permanent manager.

Two former Rangers players - Terry Butcher and Stuart McCall - have been installed as early favourites.

Butcher this week pulled out of the shortlist to start a second spell as manager at Motherwell as successor to McCall.

They are closely followed by another former Rangers player, Billy Davies, whose last managerial job was with Nottingham Forest.

Former England midfielder Dennis Wise, who last managed at Leeds United in 2008, is also highly quoted, having been director of football under Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, who has helped fund Rangers this season.

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