Paul Hartley: Gary Harkins will get ‘warm welcome’ at Ibrox

Gary Harkins was instrumental in Dundee blowing away Dumbarton last night. Picture: SNS
Gary Harkins was instrumental in Dundee blowing away Dumbarton last night. Picture: SNS
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Dundee manager Paul Hartley joked that midfielder Gary Harkins is in for a warm welcome when his side travel to Ibrox in the Scottish Cup

Goals from Paul McGinn, Kane Hemmings, Greg Stewart (two) and Kevin Holt means they now face Rangers in the quarter-finals next month.

Dundee's Greg Stewart scores his side's fifth goal from a free kick. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

Dundee's Greg Stewart scores his side's fifth goal from a free kick. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

Harkins is sure to get a fiery reaction from the home crowd after saying that Rangers were a “new club” which he “had never played” following Dundee’s 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock at the weekend.

There was backlash against the player from Rangers fans on social media and they’re unlikely to forget his comments when the sides meet for a place in the last four of the competition.

However, Hartley dismissed any notion the player would be thrown off his stride.

He said: “I don’t know what he should expect – a nice friendly welcome!

“You’ve got to handle the occasions wherever you go. We’ve got to go to Celtic Park next Wednesday and we have to handle that too.

“When you go and play in front of a large support you have to show character and a strong mentality. The whole team must handle it, not just one player.”

Hartley went on to praise his side for their professionalism after watching them dismantle Dumbarton 5-0 in the fifth round replay.

Hartley said: “It was professional, clinical and well-deserved on the night.

“I thought our play was good and the tempo at which we started was what we needed,

“Taking our chances when they came our way was the key thing for us.

“Some of our play was excellent especially round about the box.

“I think you’ve got to handle the occasion wherever you go.

“We go to Celtic Park next week too and when you go to play in front of a big crowd you’ve got to show your true character and mentality.

“I think we’ve got to handle that as a team as a whole, not just one player.

“I think people will see us favourites going to Ibrox because we’re in a different league but it’s a cup game and anything can happen.

“We’ve got a massive week coming up and we’ve got to be ready for Saturday’s league game with Inverness first and foremost.”

Dundee play Celtic away on league duty next Wednesday night before facing Rangers in the cup three days later.

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