John Lundstram on the Rangers loss that 'still hurts', treating Stirling like Dortmund, and his lack of game time

With all due respect to Dale Carrick, who is likely to lead the line for League 2 underdogs Stirling Albion at Ibrox on Friday night, he is never likely to draw too many comparisons with Erling Haaland.

Rangers midfielder John Lundstram was involved in some memorable FA Cup upsets during his time as an Oxford United player. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Rangers midfielder John Lundstram was involved in some memorable FA Cup upsets during his time as an Oxford United player. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

But John Lundstram isn’t simply paying lip service to 125-1 outsiders Albion when he states Rangers will afford them the same level of respect in Friday night’s Scottish Cup fourth round tie at Ibrox as they will towards striking superstar Haaland and his Borussia Dortmund team-mates in the Europa League next month.

Lundstram knows all about upsetting the odds from his time as an Oxford United player where he still cherishes the memories of taking Premier League scalps in FA Cup ties. It’s why the Rangers midfielder will be wary of the motivation levels Stirling Albion will possess as they take on the Scottish champions.

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“We will prepare for the game on Friday exactly like we would prepare for any game,” said Lundstram. “We’ll prepare for this one like we’ll prepare for the Dortmund game.

Former Hearts, Kilmarnock, Livingston and Airdrie striker Dale Carrick is expected to lead the line for Stirling Albion in their Scottish Cup fourth round tie against Rangers at Ibrox on Friday night. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

“I’ve been in the position that Stirling are in. When I was at Oxford, we knocked out Swansea City (in 2016) and then Newcastle the year after.

“So I know exactly how the lads at Stirling Albion will be feeling. They can’t wait to get here, I’d imagine.

“We know how important it will be for them coming to Ibrox, it will be a massive occasion for them. I know if I was in their shoes, I’d be raring to go. We’ve got to match that, definitely.

“I’m sure if we have the right attitude and the right mentality we’ll win the game. But you’ve got to implant that and it will be a difficult game for us if we don’t."

Rangers’ domestic cup woes continued this season with their 3-1 defeat against Hibs in the League Cup semi-final at Hampden in November. The Scottish Cup hasn’t been in the Ibrox trophy room since 2009 and Lundstram is keen to play a part in ending that drought.

"When you’re at a club like Rangers, you’re expected to go all the way in them all,” he added. “We all know that and that’s what we want to do.

“I know it still hurts me that we got knocked out of that semi-final against Hibs. It really frustrated me for a while, that one. So, going forward, the Scottish Cup has got to be a priority along with the league.”

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Lundstram has found game time limited under Giovanni van Bronckhorst, making just two starting appearances since the Dutchman replaced Steven Gerrard as Rangers manager in November, but the 27-year-old remains upbeat about his prospects of featuring more regularly.

“Everyone is different, everyone deals with it in their own way,” he said. “My way is to keep working hard and stay positive, I’ve got to. That’s the only way you go about it in my opinion, you have to stay focused and positive.

“You keep trying to impress the manager and when you get a chance you have to take it. There are a few of us who will want to do that in the coming weeks. The lads have been winning, so it’s been difficult for the manager to change things up.”

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