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Looking too far ahead would be a major mistake for Rangers, warns Steven Gerrard



Retaining focus: Gers boss Steven Gerrard won’t take the threat of Cowdenbeath lightly

Retaining focus: Gers boss Steven Gerrard won’t take the threat of Cowdenbeath lightly

Retaining focus: Gers boss Steven Gerrard won’t take the threat of Cowdenbeath lightly

Steven Gerrard will not make the "schoolboy error" of using the prospect of a swift return trip to Kilmarnock in his William Hill Scottish Cup preparations.

Rangers will travel to Rugby Park on February 9 for the fifth round if they see off Cowdenbeath tonight in their rearranged tie.

The contest would give Rangers a chance to make amends for last week's league defeat in Ayrshire, but Gerrard is not looking further than Fife.

"It's not the focus," he said. "The focus is Cowdenbeath. We are very respectful of them and their manager (Gary Bollan) I'm sure is going to have a game plan that will make it complicated for us.

"So I think that would be a schoolboy error to focus on the next round before you've faced Cowdenbeath."

The League Two club have installed more sophisticated pitch covers with warm air blowing on the Central Park surface in a bid to beat this week's cold snap.

The game was initially called off because of a frozen pitch after winds blew off a section of covers to expose a small area of the grass, and a second postponement would cause a fixtures headache. Rangers are due to face Aberdeen next Wednesday, three days before the fifth round.

Gerrard said: "It was disappointing last week when we got the majority of the way down there and we already had the pre-match and all the preparation that had gone into it and then to get it called off was a big disappointment for us.

"But fingers crossed it goes ahead and hopefully we can get a good cup tie.

"(Public safety) is the most important thing. If the public are not safe we totally understand if it was to be called off again. But hopefully that's not the case.

"It would help both teams and the SFA if it goes ahead."

Cowdenbeath have clung on to their SPFL status via the play-offs for the past two years but Gerrard vowed they would treat them the same as any top-flight opponent.

"I still want the same standards, the same attitude and mentality," he said. "I think that's where you come unstuck in these ties, if you get complacent and think you can just turn up at places like Cowdenbeath and expect to win.

"We know we are going to get the best Cowdenbeath. When the draw was made, I'm sure there were a lot of smiles and excitement around their dressing room. This is a fixture they have been looking forward to, so we are going to expect the best Cowdenbeath and we need to respect that.

"If we want the so-called glamorous ties further down the line at Hampden, we have to go to places like Cowdenbeath and deliver."

Gerrard is confident a deal to sign American midfielder Matt Polster from Chicago Fire will be completed before tomorrow's transfer deadline.

"That could be announced at any time," he said. "We are confident that one will happen."

But Gerrard does not expect pre-contract signings Jordan Jones and Glen Kamara to arrive this month. Kilmarnock have no intention of selling Jones but Dundee are keen to hasten Kamara's departure for a fee.

Gerrard said: "We assume Glen and Jordan will join next season."

Cowdenbeath vs Rangers

Scottish Cup fourth round:

Central Park, Tonight, 7.45pm

Belfast Telegraph