Football - McCoist questions early cup call

Rangers boss Ally McCoist was among a number of managers who questioned the decision to name the venues for the latter stages of the William Hill Scottish Cup in advance.

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Celtic Park (PA Photos)

With Hampden undergoing redevelopment ahead of the Commonwealth Games, the Scottish Football Association announced on Wednesday that Celtic Park would stage the final on May 17.

Ibrox will host both semi-finals the previous month, but McCoist believes it would have been better to wait until the make-up of the last four was known before the venues were chosen.

McCoist said: "For me, it would probably have been more sensible. If we weren't in it or Celtic weren't in it, then decisions could be made in terms of taking a home advantage away. It might have been better to hold on but we are where we are."

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell admitted his team now had even more incentive to reach the final, but insisted that an advance decision was preferable for planning reasons.

McCoist added: "There are arguments for and against it. The similar argument would be if we were lucky enough to get to the semi-final we would have a home venue. I can understand people not being happy with it. I'd certainly be happy with it if I was Neil Lennon and Peter."

The SFA claimed that clubs wanted advance knowledge, but Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson, for one, disagreed with that assertion on Wednesday.

And several Scottish Premiership managers also questioned the wisdom of the decision to potentially give Celtic and Rangers home advantage.

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald said: "I don't know why they needed to announce it. I don't know the rules or regulations, but I didn't think they had to announce it as early as that because all it does is get everyone moaning about it and complaining about it, as we do in Scotland.

"I don't think it's fair. You would like to think they could have waited until they got to the semi-finals and addressed it then. That would have been a hell of a lot easier, I would have thought."

Kilmarnock boss Allan Johnston said: "Obviously it makes it difficult with Hampden being out the picture, but I thought they might have waited to closer to the time."

Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes was not as concerned.

McInnes, whose side do not know the venue for their League Cup semi-final against St Johnstone, said: "It's not something I've really thought about. We need to play it somewhere so the fact it's announced early makes it clear, but I have no real opinion on it."

But Rangers midfielder Nicky Law said: "I thought it was a little bit strange to announce it that early because you don't know who's going to be in the final. You would fancy Celtic quite strongly to be in the final and maybe if it is they would maybe have an advantage."

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