Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes savoured another victory over Rangers in Glasgow, his side’s third of the season, after they reached the Scottish Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 replay win at Ibrox.
McInnes, whose side will face Celtic at Hampden next month said: “Everyone was expecting an Old Firm semi-final, so sorry to disappoint everyone who tipped that.
“I listened to all the experts, read all the experts over the last two or three days and not one tipped us,” added McInnes, whose side won 1-0 at Hampden in a League Cup semi-final in October then 1-0 at Ibrox in the Premiership a few weeks later.
“I took strength from the fact we have won in Glasgow before this season, and won here and at Hampden,” he added.
The only disappointment for McInnes was a booking for skipper Graeme Shinnie which rules him out of the semi-final on the weekend of 13/14 April.
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard accepted full responsibility for his side’s defeat, which came through goals from Niall McGinn and Connor McLennan
Gerrard’s hopes of silverware in his debut season at Ibrox hang by a thread, with Celtic eight points clear in the Premiership with nine games left to play.
He was was left to reflect, with some anxiety, on the big-game mentality of the squad he has assembled in his first season in management.
“I’ve put this squad together and I’ve picked the team and tactics, so I’ll take full responsibility for it,” said Gerrard.
“I’ve sat here on a lot of occasions and took a bit of praise and accepted that, so I’ll sit here and take responsibility for it tonight. Those players go out there to represent the players and myself first and foremost but anyone connected with Rangers can’t be going away with any positives tonight. It’s a big problem and challenge for me now.
“It’s a big concern. I had confidence and trust and belief in the players and the team that we picked that they’d be good enough.
“Normally after a defeat or a performance you can look for certain positives but I can’t find one. That’s the reality so I am concerned.
“If a result and performance puts the spotlight on me, that’s fine. I’ll take it on the chin, I’m man enough to accept that.
“It’s my job now to try to move on from this which will be tough because it was such a big game and we knew what was at stake.
“Credit to Aberdeen, they deserve to be going to Hampden. We can’t expect to be going anywhere near that place after a performance like that.
“It’s my job now to lift the players, keep us together until the end of the season and then see where we are. Then we’ll see what the summer brings.”