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Midweek inquest can wait until after cup final: Jack


Dropped points: Ryan Jack says Rangers must learn lessons from their slip up against Aberdeen
Dropped points: Ryan Jack says Rangers must learn lessons from their slip up against Aberdeen

By Andy Newport

Ryan Jack has told Rangers to put their Pittodrie regrets behind them as they aim to end the club's long wait for silverware on Sunday.

Steven Gerrard's side have let Celtic steal a march in the Ladbrokes Premiership title race after blowing a two-goal lead against Aberdeen on Wednesday night.

But the Light Blues have no time to brood over that 2-2 draw, with Sunday's Betfred Cup final showdown with the Hoops offering the chance for the Ibrox outfit to end their eight-year search for a major trophy.

Midfielder Jack - who looked to have put the Granite City clash with his former side to bed when he put Gers 2-0 up after half an hour - admits the set-back has stung the squad, who have now dropped two points behind their Glasgow rivals at the top of the table.

But with a trophy on offer this weekend, Jack says the inquest into the lapses that allowed the Dons to claim an unlikely point will have to wait.

"It's a difficult one," said the Scotland international.

"We're obviously down and frustrated.

"Those first 35-40 minutes we absolutely controlled the game.

"The game looked how we wanted it to be having worked on it all week in training. We were excellent in that initial period but from half-time onwards it just wasn't good enough.

"First and foremost, we can't expect to always come away to tough places like Pittodrie and expect to control the full game.

"There will be times where it's going to be tough and we'll have to dig in.

"Going forward, we're going to have to cut out the slack goals that we've conceded over the last few weeks.

"I'm sure we'll address it and pick the bones out of it.

"It's a tough one and I'm sure we'll be scratching our heads thinking, 'what if?'

"That's just natural because when you throw away a lead like that, it does hurt.

"But now we're back in the training ground, it's important that we put it behind us before Sunday as it's such a huge game and there's no time to let this affect us.

"I'm sure at some point we'll address what happened and how we lost the goals but Sunday is a massive game and it's important we go into that with clear heads.

"It's a great opportunity to go get a trophy and compete in a cup final against your rivals.

"It's going to be a great day and a great game.

"Aberdeen was a tough one to take but there's a lot to look forward to."

No Ibrox side has won one of the three major domestic trophies since Walter Smith's 2011 outfit were proclaimed SPL champions.

Financial disaster and some abject performances have counted the Light Blues out of the chase for silverware since then but under Gerrard they are now genuine contenders.

"It would be huge to win a trophy with Rangers," said Jack, whose only previous winners medal came when he lifted the League Cup with Aberdeen in 2014.

"Since the manager has come in, he's always said there was an expectation and we need to match that.

"The manager has built a squad that we think can go and compete so hopefully Sunday is a great opportunity for us to get our first trophy as a squad."

Rangers vs Celtic

Betfred Cup Final:

Hampden Park, Sunday, 3.00pm

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