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Final shot must be Rangers' motivation, says Lovenkrands


By Ronnie Esplin

Former Rangers striker Peter Lovenkrands believes ending Celtic's unbeaten domestic record should not be the focus of the Gers players on Sunday.

The Hoops go into the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park still to taste defeat in Scotland this season and with the Ladbrokes Premiership and Betfred Cup already in the trophy room.

Brendan Rodgers' side are two games away from completing the treble, but Lovenkrands stressed that winning the match for its own sake and to reach the May final should be at the forefront of Rangers' thoughts.

"I don't think it is anything to do with being the first team to beat them," he said.

"With the Old Firm you have to win. If you are playing for Rangers, you have to go and beat your rivals and Celtic will say the same.

"I don't think anybody would be looking at it from a Rangers point of view, that we want to be the first team to beat them this season. You need to approach every game to win it."

Lovenkrands scored a double, including the winner, in the 3-2 Scottish Cup final victory over Celtic at Hampden Park in 2002.

He also scored at the national stadium in the 2-1 League Cup final win over the Hoops in 2003 and the former Denmark international believes the chance is there for someone else to become a Light Blues' Hampden hero.

He said: "I hope so. I would hope someone could come out and grab that chance. I grabbed my chance and these things happen in Old Firm games.

"It happens for Celtic players, like Henrik Larsson, he did fantastic scoring goals against Rangers. But from my point of view it was an opportunity as a young boy. You got your chance and it is about grabbing it and hopefully someone will go and grab the headlines.

"Anything can happen in football. I have always said it is 50-50 in an Old Firm game.

"Celtic have won the league comfortably and deservedly so. But Rangers have stepped up in the last couple of games. They have changed their manager which is a big thing for the club and they have changed their way of playing."

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