Dundee boss John Brown says Ally McCoist’s comic timing was second to none when they were team-mates at Ibrox however, he insists the former striker’s general timekeeping was no laughing matter.
The pair were key components of the Glasgow side as they secured nine titles in a row and Brown admits he firmly believed McCoist would go on to be a success as a manager, even allowing for his reputation for lateness.
Now, he is relishing locking horns with his former team-mate when Rangers visit Dens on Wednesday night to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the Dark Blues’ first game.
Brown said: “I always thought McCoist would go on to become a manager, although when he was a player I did wonder about his time-keeping.
“There was one occasion when Coisty turned up at a sponsor’s dinner half an hour late and David Murray went mental at him.
“But Ally’s response to the chairman was: ‘this is the earliest I’ve been late in a long time’. Seriously, he was a fantastic player and just great to have about the dressing-room.
“A lot was down to him during that nine-in-a-row period because he had the ability to bring laughter to the dressing-room on a Monday morning.
“A lot of people don’t fancy going to their work on Mondays but all the boys loved going in knowing McCoist would be there to crank things up.
“It’s a work in progress for Ally at Rangers just now but he’s got a good mentor in Walter Smith beside him just now.
“Kenny McDowall and Ian Durrant have been coaching for a number of years as well.
“I think once Ally gets all his players on the park, they will be pretty comfortable in that division this season, if I’m being honest.
“He has an undoubted eye for a player and you can see that with the signings he’s made.”
Brown added: “Rangers had a solid pre-season and didn’t leak too many goals.
“So this will be a good test for my players, which is what you want at this stage in proceedings. That’s why we had St Johnstone here as well, to see how we matched up and gauge where we’re at.
“We are in a good place at the moment. It was a tough game for us on Saturday and I was delighted to come away with a victory.
“So, we’re coming along quite nicely and it will be another worthwhile run-out for the lads against Rangers.”
Brown was denied the opportunity to play teenage striking sensation Craig Wighton against Alloa because of red tape.
However, the manager admitted he will give the youngster a run-out against Rangers.
He said: “I am looking to put out virtually a full-strength side against Rangers but we will introduce guys like Craig Wighton in the second half.
“He is away with Scotland until Tuesday for a training camp but he played for our youths on Saturday against Livingston. We won 6-1 and he scored a hat-trick so he is showing a lot of promise.
“He has been a revelation in pre-season for us. However, we will not be throwing him in at the deep end. We will introduce him gradually but I think he has a great future ahead of him.
“Thomas Carberry and Cammy Kerr have also done really well.”