Whittaker: We had to win it

21 March 2011 07:30

Steven Whittaker admitted the need to beat Celtic for the first time in five meetings drove Rangers to victory in Sunday's Co-operative Insurance Cup final at Hampden.

The Light Blues had failed to win any of the four Old Firm games this year, and had been criticised for their performances in each one. However, Nikica Jelavic's extra-time winner after Steve Davis's first-half opener had been levelled by Joe Ledley, took the cup back to Ibrox.

Whittaker, who finished the match at centre-half after Madjid Bougherra went off injured, said: "There was an edge that we had. We knew we had to win. We hadn't done ourselves justice in a couple of the other Old Firm games plus things didn't go for us."

He added: "We were fresh going in to this one and we knew it was a big game.

"Celtic had the momentum going in to this game but we needed to win it and we showed that.

"The players in that dressing room know what we are capable of. The guys dig in and the games that we haven't played well in, we have managed to get a result.

"If we win our game in hand we got top of the league. We still believe we can be successful no matter what people write about us."

Whittaker, who has played in various positions at Ibrox, will have no qualms about filling in at centre back again if Bougherra is out for any length of time.

"If called upon, definitely," the former Hibernian player said. It is obviously not my preferred position but wherever I can get a game and help the team, I will do it.

"Maurice Edu went to right back which was foreign to him and I went to centre back which was foreign to me but we all know our jobs and tried to do them as best we could."

Source: PA