Scottish Cup challenge even more interesting now – Rangers boss Steven Gerrard

Andy Newport, PA
·3-min read

Steven Gerrard hailed his Rangers second string after they delivered on his challenge to set up a Scottish Cup showdown with Celtic.

The Ibrox outfit discovered before facing third-round opponents Cove Rangers the prize for the winner would be a crack at their Old Firm rivals in the last 16.

And despite making seven changes to the team that drew with the Hoops at Parkhead a fortnight ago, Gerrard’s team did not let him down as four first-half goals saw the newly crowned Scottish champions cruise past Paul Hartley’s League One part-timers.

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Speaking after Kemar Roofe’s double in between strikes from Jermain Defoe and Nathan Patterson helped Gers to a 4-0 win, he said: “We said to the players before the game that with all due respect to Cove who were going well, it was about Rangers tonight and we wanted to put in a real strong showing for us.

“We wanted to make the game about us. We wanted to get into the next round, we wanted that opportunity to play Celtic at home and the players have delivered.

“I’ve made quite a few changes and given people an opportunity and our players have certainly respected the opposition by putting in a strong showing.

“This cup has become a priority now with the league done and dusted.

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“We want to try to keep our level and it’s my job to make sure the players don’t start becoming complacent or thinking they can drop their standards.

“We are happy with the home draw to come out and obviously it being Celtic now makes it even more interesting. It will be a tough game, a tough challenge, but one we’re very much looking forward to.”

The draw for the fourth round also threw up another all-Premiership clash between Aberdeen and Livingston while Hibernian will visit Stranraer if they can get past Queen of the South in the third round.

Elsewhere, Forfar host Dundee United, Kilmarnock take on Montrose, Motherwell are paired against Morton, St Johnstone welcome Clyde and Inverness travel to St Mirren.

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The fourth-round ties will be played on the weekend of April 17.

The quarter-final draw was also made.

Whoever wins the Old Firm derby in the fourth round will play St Johnstone or Clyde, while Aberdeen or Livingston await the winner of Forfar versus Dundee United.

Stranraer or Queen of the South/Hibernian visit Motherwell or Morton while Kilmarnock or Montrose play the winner of St Mirren and Inverness.