Danny Wilson: Rangers gave Celtic too much respect

Danny Wilson has promised the Rangers supporters his side will not make the same mistakes they made at Hampden when Celtic visit Ibrox on Saturday.

Danny Wilson, right, goes in for a challenge with Celtic midfielder Patrick Roberts. Picture: SNS
Danny Wilson, right, goes in for a challenge with Celtic midfielder Patrick Roberts. Picture: SNS

Gers were well off the pace as they slipped to a 2-0 defeat in the semi-finals of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

Defender Wilson admits the loss - their fourth from five Old Firm clashes this season - was self-inflicted, with the Light Blues guilty of failing to get in the faces of Brendan Rodgers’ men.

But the former Hearts skipper insists Rangers will be up for the fight when they host the Hoops in just five days’ time.

“It’s important we lift ourselves,” said Wilson. “We’re at home, we’ll go out and give everything we’ve got.

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“There wasn’t a lack of effort on Sunday. We did try, we were just too far off them and gave them too much respect at times.

“Next Saturday we’ll go in with a game plan and hopefully we can carry it out better than we did at Hampden.

“How do I view the gap between the clubs? It’s a gap we have to close. It’s as simple as that.

“Our league form hasn’t been good enough this year and Celtic have now put us out of two cups at the semi-finals.

“We need to close that gap as quickly as we can. It’s going to be difficult because they are a good team. We’ve had our difficulties both on and off the pitch this season, but we all need to come together and try to push forward.”

Gers fell behind inside 11 minutes after Callum McGregor scored the opener.

Boss Pedro Caixinha had instructed his team to put Mikael Lustig and Scott Brown under pressure while Celtic built from the back, but Rodgers’ rampant side found it all too easy to work their way forward.

Andy Halliday and Joe Garner were sacrificed at the break as the Portuguese coach tried to inject some life into his line-up by throwing on Barrie McKay and Joe Dodoo.

But a penalty early in the second half, fired home by Scott Sinclair, clinched victory for Celtic.

“We’re all just massively disappointed,” confessed Wilson. “What frustrates the most is the fact we just didn’t get going at all.

“We gave them far too much time on the ball and when you do that to a quality team, they are going to punish you. That’s what we found.

“The way we set up was to try and frustrate them and then hit on the counter. But I think we ended up giving them too much time and too much space.

“We tried to make changes at half-time but the penalty five minutes into the second half kills the game.

“We had a go at the end but it was too little too late at that point. It’s easy to play when you’re 2-0 down. We had to show more before that but unfortunately for ourselves we didn’t do that.

“We need to try and move on from it as quickly as possible. We’re really disappointed not to get to the final but I don’t think we can have too many complaints after the 90 minutes that we didn’t go through.”

Wilson was partnered at the centre of defence by youngster David Bates, who like teenage left-back Myles Beerman was making his Old Firm debut.

As hard as defeat is to take, however, Wilson reckons the chastening loss can actually benefit the fresh-faced duo.

He said: “We had some young guys on the pitch today and hopefully they can learn from it and so can the rest of us.

“Myles and David will not play in a harder game than that one. They can only grow from the experience.

“I thought they handled themselves very well today, yet again. Hopefully it will stand them in good stead going forward.”