McCoist 'hopeful' of keeping Ibrox squad together through January

Ally McCoist celebrates his side's win over Queen's Park.
Joy: Ally McCoist will be hoping for a repeat of Rangers' home win over Queen's Park earlier in the season.SNS Group

Rangers manager Ally McCoist is hoping to keep his squad together when the transfer window opens in January.

A year-long signing ban means the Ibrox side would be unable to replace any players if they leave, but the manager says he is hopeful Charles Green will not sanction any sales.

He said: "It goes with the territory, there is no use worrying about it.

"We hope it won't be the case because we've got a small enough squad at the moment and it's been well enough documented that we can't bring anybody in.

"I would be disappointed to lose anybody. It's a bridge we would cross if we came to it but, at this moment in time, there is nothing happening.

"I would be very hopeful we would continue with the squad that we have."

The new year is traditionally a period when Rangers prepare to face Celtic in a highly-anticipated Old Firm clash.

Instead the Light Blues are gearing up for a Third Division derby against Queen's Park at Hampden Park where they will seek to consolidate a 12-point lead at the top of the league table.

McCoist said: "Of course you miss the Old Firm games, they are fantastic fixtures.

"You miss the excitement, the drama, the sick feeling in your stomach - everything that goes with it.

"At the same time, we have known for a while that we're not going to have one, especially in the league, that's for sure.

"But we have got another one, it's one of the oldest derbies in world football and it's something we're looking forward to."

Andy Little is expected to miss the game after he was taken off with a hamstring problem in the 3-0 win against Clyde.

McCoist said the Northern Ireland striker was withdrawn after 27 minutes of the Boxing Day encounter "as a precaution", but admitted it was unlikely he would play against Queen's Park.

Lee Wallace is available for selection after he successfully appealed the red card he was given against Annan last week.

Dean Shields is struggling with a calf strain but expected to be fit, while Ian Black is back in contention after recovering from a knee injury.

Queen's Park have sold out their allocation of 2327 tickets, a 300% increase on their usual home support at the national stadium.

The visitors had sold more than 25,000 tickets as of Friday afternoon and, with a total allocation of 40,000 seats available to Rangers fans, that number could swell further by kick-off.