Rangers striker Kenny Miller insists they have no fear of Celtic after drawing the champions in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finals. The Glasgow clubs were paired after Celtic beat Morton 3-0 in the last eight, 24 hours after Rangers thrashed Dundee 4-0.
Dundee United will face the winners of the replay between Inverness and Hibernian in the other semi-final, with both ties to be played at Hampden on the weekend of 16-17 April.
Celtic were comfortable 2-0 winners over Rangers in last season’s League Cup semi-finals and could have added to goals from Leigh Griffiths and Kris Commons in the first half.
But Rangers have improved considerably and Miller believes the players’ faith in Mark Warburton’s methods can see them triumph.
The former Celtic player told Rangers’ website: “There was every chance we were going to get them at some point and, as we said after the game yesterday, we don’t fear anyone.
“Whoever we drew was just going to be standing in the way of our goal which is to win the Scottish Cup and I’ve said all along, we have to get past Celtic if we want to win it.
“It will be a tough game as all the games are, but I am fully confident if we go about the job in the way we know we can that we can get the right result.”
Warburton claims there will be no mention of the fixture inside his squad until the preceding week. The Rangers manager, whose side are 12 points clear in the Championship, said: “Right now our only focus is Friday night and Morton and that won’t change.
“It’s not going to be a massive build-up either in the camp – it’s going to be all about our league campaign, and when the game comes around, then we can focus on it at the right time. But we won’t mention it until the week of it.
“I understand it is a big game and a big event and I understand there will be media hysteria, but, from our point of view, that game is a long way off.”
Celtic winger Gary Mackay-Steven welcomed the prospect of his first Old Firm fixture and promised he and his team-mates will be highly motivated for the challenge it presents. Mackay-Steven, who signed for Celtic the day after the win over Rangers in the League Cup semi-final last season, said: “I wasn’t here the last time we played them. It will be a big occasion, a semi-final at Hampden and we will be right up for it.”
Mackay-Steven scored on his last appearance at Hampden but found himself on the end of a disappointing outcome for Celtic as they lost 3-1 to Ross County in the semi-final of the League Cup at the end of January. “This is a different competition and a different game,” added Mackay-Steven. “But our last memory of Hampden wasn’t the greatest, so hopefully we can put that to bed next time. We will be looking to put on a positive show and to get this club to a final.”
Cup sponsor William Hill prices Celtic at 1/3 to win the tie with Rangers available at 9/4.
Rangers and Celtic last met in a Scottish Cup semi-final in 1998 when the Ibrox side won 2-1 at Celtic Park with goals from Ally McCoist and Jorg Albertz.