Rangers manager Ally McCoist is adamant his side can still catch Celtic at the top of the Scottish Premier League despite losing further ground in the title race after being held to a 1-1 draw with Aberdeen at Ibrox. Despite creating a host of chances, the Gers had to rely on a deflected shot from Maurice Edu to grab a 68th-minute equaliser after Kari Arnason had given the Dons the lead five minutes earlier.
Earlier in the day, Celtic secured their 12th league win in a row as second-half goals from James Forrest and Scott Brown gave them a 2-0 win away to St Mirren to put them four points above Rangers with 14 games remaining. But having held a 15-point lead in November, the Gers coach is confident he has the players to overtake Neil Lennon's side. "Absolutely, of that there is no doubt," McCoist said. "We have a squad of players here I believe can win the championship and to do that, we obviously have to catch them."
The draw with Aberdeen was Rangers' fourth of the season at Ibrox, having been held by Hearts, St Mirren and St Johnstone previously. And McCoist knows their home form must improve, starting with the visit of Hibernian next Saturday, if they are to claim their fourth SPL title in a row. "I don't know what the problem at home is, to be honest with you. If we knew, we would alter it and change it," the Rangers manager said.
"I just think that in the first half we didn't play the game at as high a tempo as we would have liked. I said to the boys at half-time that it had to change and we had to lift the tempo and put more pressure on the opposition."
"Our boys certainly did that in the second half, there is no doubt about that. Obviously we gave away, from our point of view, a very sloppy goal and then we were right up against it. Having said that, we did react well and got the goal and still had plenty of time to get the winner. But that is our fourth draw at home in the league. That's eight lost points and it's far from ideal."
Rangers have been linked with a host of forwards in the transfer window after injuries to Steven Naismith and Kyle Lafferty left the Ibrox club short of strikers. But McCoist says his side's profligacy in front of goal against Aberdeen - coupled with speculation linking Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic with a move away from Ibrox - would not make him speed up his pursuit of any new signings.
"I wouldn't say the result makes me any more urgent to get in a striker. I know what we need and hopefully we can get that and get it sorted soon," he said. "Kyle Lafferty and Steven Naismith are out and they without doubt are goalscoring threats. If you take them out your team, you are going to have a little bit of a problem so we need to replace that.
"I think we are a little short in goals. Jelavic is our main striker but I feel we could and maybe should be chipping in with more goals from different areas, which certainly wasn't the case today. Although you need your strikers to be notching goals, there is no doubt you need them to be coming from different areas as well if you are to be successful."