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Rangers arent Cup underdogs, insists Daly

Updated 11 Apr 2014 00:31:55

Rangers arent Cup underdogs, insists Daly

Striker Jon Daly says Rangers will not view themselves as underdogs for Saturday's Scottish Cup semi-final against Dundee United despite the odds seemingly being stacked against the Ibrox club.

The fallen Glasgow giants currently sit two divisions below Premiership side United after they were forced to drop to Scotland's bottom tier following liquidation in June 2012.

Ally McCoist's side eased to the League One title this year without losing a game, but they were humbled last week when they lost the Ramsden's Cup final - a tournament only open to clubs outside the top flight - to second-tier Raith Rovers, going down 1-0 after extra time.

United have also knocked Rangers out of the Scottish Cup in three of the past four years but, despite this, the 31-year-old Irishman Daly believes the tie is in the balance due to the number of players in their squad with top-flight experience.

"I don't think the lads will see themselves as underdogs and I don't think United will look at themselves as the favourites," said Daly, who was a prolific goalscorer for United for six years and was part of their 2010 Scottish Cup-winning team but joined Rangers last summer.

"It's going to be one of those games where you have two good sides having a go at each other and trying to get to a cup final.

"We believe we've a really good pool of players that can do well and I'm sure the manager believes that too.

"It's hard to judge where we are because we're not playing Premiership teams every week and this will be a different type of game to what we've been used to this year.

"But hopefully we can rise to the challenge and get through to the final, which would be fantastic for us all."

- Home advantage -

The last-four showdown is being played at Rangers' own Ibrox ground as Hampden Park is unavailable due to the Commonwealth Games and United had raised complaints about the venue.

However, Daly insists playing at their home ground does not give Rangers an edge.

"A lot of people have said there's an advantage for Rangers, but I don't see that," he said.

"When you're on the park, you don't really concentrate on what's happening off it too much.

"There's a big prize at stake and that's what everyone will focus on."

Three of Rangers' most experienced players are set to miss Saturday's semi-final against a United side who lie fourth in the Premiership table.

Scotland full-back Lee Wallace, Northern Ireland striker Andy Little and winger David Templeton are likely to be ruled out through injury.

In Sunday's second semi-final, high-flying Aberdeen have the chance to take a step closer to claiming a cup double this season when they take on St Johnstone, also at Ibrox.

The Dons claimed the League Cup last month, beating Inverness Caledonian Thistle on penalties to lift their first trophy in 19 years, and their run to the final included a 4-0 win over St Johnstone in the semi-final.

St Johnstone have lost seven semi-finals in 15 years and have never won a cup but Saints manager Tommy Wright says he is confident his side can still upset the Dons.

"If we look at the games we've played against them, we know we can do better. Hopefully we can do that on Sunday," said Wright, whose side have yet to score against Aberdeen in their four previous meetings this season.

"We are confident - we believe we can win the game.

"Performances in recent weeks have been really good and overall this season we've performed at a high level so we're happy enough with where we are.

"We realise it's going to be a tough game. Derek (McInnes, the manager and former Saints boss) has done a tremendous job with Aberdeen and they've been outstanding all season. Outside Celtic, they've been the best team.

"But we feel we've enough fire power and enough quality in our team that can hurt them."

Fixtures

Saturday

Rangers v Dundee United (1145 GMT)

Sunday

St Johnstone v Aberdeen (1145 GMT)


AFP

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