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Gerrard demands more from 'sloppy' Rangers despite Scottish Cup win

Cowdenbeath 1 Rangers 3

On target: Gareth McAuley leads the praise for Lassana Coulibaly after his goal
On target: Gareth McAuley leads the praise for Lassana Coulibaly after his goal
Kyle Lafferty could be set to join Jermain Defoe in the Rangers line-up again this weekend.

By Andy Newport

Steven Gerrard warned his sloppy second string they have missed an opportunity to impress after watching Rangers struggle to shake off Cowdenbeath.

The Ibrox men progressed to the fifth round of the William Hill Scottish Cup after a 3-1 win at Central Park.

But while Gers were three up at half-time thanks to goals from Andy Halliday, Lassana Coulibaly and Kyle Lafferty, after the interval they were not at the races on a ground that doubles as a stock car track.

That gave Gary Bollan's side encouragement and the League Two part-timers were unlucky not to add to David Cox's strike just after the restart.

Gerrard had given the likes of Jon Flanagan, Gareth McAuley and Coulibaly a run-out but, without naming names, the Ibrox boss made it clear he was unhappy with certain performances.

Gerrard - who confirmed the Gers' only likely movement on transfer deadline day will be a loan switch for Jordan Rossiter to Bury - said: "I'm just pleased to get through. We've come through healthy and those are the two main things.

"I thought it was a professional job. I was pleased with the first half, not so pleased with the second half.

"I thought we got sloppy and complacent. We were nervy at times and gave them opportunities where we may have been punished on a different night.

"Credit to Cowdenbeath, they played a game for 90 minutes. We played for 45 but got the job done.

"I had the chance to rest certain people for the weekend and fixtures coming up.

"There were some positive performances and I was disappointed with a couple of players tonight.

"I won't name any names but that's what tonight was about. I made a lot of changes and it was an opportunity to impress, to make a name for yourself and show you want to be involved going forward.

"Some people took the chance tonight, some people didn't."

Lafferty was not one of those who disappointed his boss. The Northern Ireland striker had been urged before the match to show Gerrard more and responded with his first goal since September.

"Kyle needed that goal," said his manager. "He was lively at times. His performance was a positive."

Gers will now take on Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Saturday-week and Gerrard wants his men to avenge last week's Premiership defeat.

"Hopefully we have learned our lessons," he said.

"You can't go to Kilmarnock and give goals away or we will be out of the cup.

"We have to go there and defend better."

On the transfer front, he added: "There will be no ins. We're happy and satisfied with what we have.

"I can't see anyone coming in unless something crazy happens.

"Regarding outs, Jordan is very close to joining Bury. He's been down there all day and it is 99 per cent done.

"We have had no respectable bids for any other of our players."

Blue Brazil boss Gary Bollan said: "It was a defeat but we feel we've done the club proud and the players did themselves proud."

COWDENBEATH: McGurn, Mullen, Talbot (Swann, 15 mins), Pyper, Deas, Miller, Cox, Malcolm (Allan, 59 mins), Renton (Henvey, 59 mins), Fraser, Buchanan.

Unused subs: Goodfellow, Sheerin, Scott, Sneddon.

RANGERS: Foderingham, Flanagan, McAuley, Katic, Halliday, Jack, Davis, Coulibaly (Middleton, 67 mins), Candeias (Houston, 87 mins) Defoe, Lafferty.

Unused subs: McGregor, Worrall, Kent, Morelos, Arfield.

Referee: Craig Thomson (Scotland)

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