Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 13 July 2014

Five star change reaction for Rangers

Rangers 5 Hamilton Accies 1

Ally McCoist praised the character and determination of Rangers after they responded to a demoralising midweek defeat to Inverness with an emphatic 5-1 win over Hamilton to book their place in the Homecoming Scottish Cup semi-finals.

Northern Ireland international Kyle Lafferty helped himself to a double, while further goals from Steven Whittaker, Aaron and Cullybackey born Steven Davis saw Rangers take a step closer to another Hampden final this season.

The win came just a few days after the shock 1-0 defeat at the hands of the SPL strugglers put a major dent in their title hopes.

But, with Celtic crashing out on Saturday, the Ibrox side are now firm favourites to retain the Scottish Cup silverware.

Assistant boss McCoist, who has been in charge of team affairs throughout the Cup campaign, said: "Wednesday’s game was a big disappointment but it’s how you react to these disappointments and handle it.

"I thought we handled it really well. The boys who came in all offered us something in what was a good performance.

"You’ve just got to win games. We had a good chat about it beforehand. The fans are a great help but the fans won’t win you leagues — it’s the players on the park who win games of football and I thought they handled that very well."

Rangers will face St Mirren - conquerors of Celtic — in the semi-final on the final weekend in April but McCoist claimed he had no preference ahead of today’s draw, with Falkirk, Dunfermline and Aberdeen all still in the competition.

He said: "In no way do I mean any disrespect to any of the teams but I didn’t care who we got in the semi-final. I just wanted to get there.

"St Mirren have already beaten us this season and they beat Celtic at the weekend. I’ve seen them a few times this season and I believe they are playing with a lot more confidence this season.

"It’s a great draw for us but it’s certainly not an easy one."

Madjid Bougherra appeared to limp off in the latter stages of the game but McCoist was confident the influential defender would be fit for Sunday’s Co-operative Insurance Cup final against Celtic.

"Madjid is fine as far as I know," McCoist said.

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