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Kris Boyd insists underdogs Rangers have quality to upset odds

By Andy Newport

Rangers striker Kris Boyd knows his team could not match Celtic over a season - but he sees no reason why they cannot do so over an afternoon.

Boyd admits his side will need to be on their game to avoid a painful encounter in the Scottish League Cup semi-final.

But cup victories over Scottish Premiership sides Inverness, St Johnstone and Kilmarnock this season have shown they can compete, despite their struggle to keep apace with Scottish Championship leaders Hearts.

Boyd said: "I do think we are of a level right now of the teams we have beaten and over the course of a season we could match them, but I don't think we could match Celtic.

"We understand where we are but you just need to look at the FA Cup at the weekend. You can be an underdog and go and win games.

"We feel we have got good players and we can cause them problems. We have a group of hard working people who will go there and give our best and hopefully that is good enough to get us over the finish line, but we'll not get carried away.

"We are under major pressure to perform and it's up to us to prove if you can work, like Bradford and Middlesbrough did at the weekend, you can upset the favourites.

"We need to go out and match them and hopefully, with that bit of luck, we can find ourselves in the final. But if we don't go out and match them and we don't perform to a level where we can stop them playing, we are going to be in for a long afternoon."

Boyd played in 10 Old Firm derbies during his first spell at Ibrox but tomorrow's encounter will be a unique experience given that most of the players involved have never taken part in the fixture before.

Celtic striker John Guidetti raised eyebrows by saying he fancied himself for three goals and Boyd feels his team-mates have done the right thing by keeping it low key.

"Every time you pull on that jersey you are excited and you want to go out and perform but I've been lucky enough to take part in Old Firm games before and it is totally different," he said.

"There are a lot of people in (our dressing room) who have not been there and taken part in it. Yes, there will be nerves but it will be exactly the same for Celtic.

"You get the feeling that a lot of our guys have sat back and let Celtic talk, we're already 3-0 down according to John Guidetti!

"We need to remain focused on our job and that is to go out there between now and Sunday and prepare the best we can."

Meanwhile, fan ownership group Rangers First have followed the Rangers Supporters Trust's Buy Rangers scheme by crossing the one million share threshold.

The group is nearing 6,500 contributors each making monthly donations which are used to buy shares.

Now they have set their sights on overtaking the 8,500 members currently boasted by the Foundation of Hearts as they target becoming Britain's biggest fan-ownership group.

Rangers First director Ricki Neill said: "We are proud to say that we have managed to secure over one million shares.

"We have new members joining by the hour and we currently have 6,474 members - with over 4,000 of them joining this month.

"Our main focus is to keep buying shares in our club so we can get fans involved with the club.

"Rangers First are hoping to break some records in the next few weeks and become the biggest Fan Ownership group in Britain. I would urge all Rangers fans to have a look at Rangers First."

Belfast Telegraph


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