Why the Scottish Cup is of high importance to Rangers

Gary McAllister won the English First Division with Leeds and both the League Cup and FA Cup at Liverpool – so the romance of the cup is not lost on the Rangers assistant manager.

Focus on league campaigns and European exploits has seen the significance of national knock-out competitions diminished in recent years but that’s not the case at Rangers – where a second piece of silverware is high on the agenda for McAllister and Steven Gerrard, a month on from sealing their first.

Cup success has eluded the management duo since they arrived at Ibrox three years ago. A Betfred Cup Final defeat last season followed by a Scottish Cup exit to Hearts prompted much soul-searching, and defeat to St Mirren in this season’s Betfred Cup is one of few blots on the season so far.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Sign up to our Football newsletter

Now after claiming the league title in record time, McAllister is urging the players to follow it up with more silverware over the remainder of the season.

Rangers' assistant manager Gary McAllister. (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)

“The job of us, the manager and the staff, is to emphasise that it is just the start. We have won the league so why not push on and try to add to that? That’s something we are going to have pushed to the front of their minds."

"Winning is winning,” he added. “My background as an ex-player – there is nothing that quite replaces winning something as a player. But the closest thing is getting over the line as a member of staff.

"I know how much hard work has gone in, from the surrounding staff and the hours put in by the manager as well. Winning the league has been fantastic, but to go one better and get a good run in the Scottish Cup and get to Hampden on May 25 would be an added bonus.

"It’s something we’re really going to try and emphasise to the players is how important the Scottish Cup is and give this a good push with full concentration."

Gary mcAllister claimed the charity shield with Liverpool and Leeds (GERRY PENNY/AFP via Getty Images)

From a career that included every domestic trophy in England plus the UEFA Cup, McAllister only won the First Division north of the border before last month’s top flight success in the dugout. It has always been an aim though.

“I come from a generation when as a young player at Motherwell you always wanted to get to a Scottish Cup semi-final or a final,” he added. “I have many memories of watching the cup finals south of the border and up here.

"We started the season in four competitions - three domestic and the Europa League. We managed to win one and had a great run in Europe and we want to do well in the Scottish Cup. All our preparation and due diligence will be done to go deep into this competition and get to Hampden.”

Silverware is in their sights but there is more on offer for Rangers in the closing stages of the season, like equalling a Premiership points tally, claiming an unbeaten league campaign – but first and foremost is the cup – something that hasn’t been achieved since defeating Falkirk in 2009.

The midfielder also landed the FA Cup and league Cup at Anfield. (Credit: Stu Forster /Allsport)

“There are five league games to go and loads of records to go for. They are targets, but there is still lots to play for in the last couple of months."

Get a year of unlimited access to all The Scotsman's sport coverage without the need for a full subscription. Expert analysis of the biggest games, exclusive interviews, live blogs, transfer news and 70 per cent fewer ads on Scotsman.com - all for less than £1 a week. Subscribe to us today