Mark Warburton: Rangers will sharpen up for cup final

Rangers manager Mark Warburton wants to add the Scottish Cup to the Championship trophy. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS

Rangers manager Mark Warburton wants to add the Scottish Cup to the Championship trophy. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS

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Rangers manager Mark Warburton has pledged his players will not be allowed to zone out before they have to zone in on the Scottish Cup final.

The Ibrox side have an awkward three-week lay-off between closing their Championship season with next Saturday’s trip to St Mirren and are showing signs of losing focus with yesterday’s draw and the midweek defeat by Hibernian on the back of the semi-final success over Celtic.

Warburton, though, maintained that “we need to pick it up pretty quick – but we will do. It’s important to get it right. We’ll give them four days off, [after next Saturday] enough to give them a break and recharge. Then we’ll get them back in, we’ll have a friendly with a Premier League side down south around 11 May to keep the boys sharp. The week up to the final will be the same as always.

“I think it is important to finish on a high. Obviously Hibs will say the same thing. We will prepare well. There is European football at stake too. That is a big plus for the club so we will be all out to win the trophy, that’s for sure.”

Defender Danny Wilson admitted that the players may have to “force it” upon themselves to “stay mentally tuned”, but could have an advantage over an Easter Road side that could have play-offs all the way up to Hampden – and beyond.

“We’ll approach the game just as we’ve approached every game this season. If you can’t motivate yourself for a cup final then you’re not worth your salt as a footballer,” said Wilson. “It shouldn’t be an issue for us to stay on track. We are delighted to be in the cup final but now we’re in it we want to win it. That will be enough motivation. We’ll be fresh and that could work in our favour.”

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