Steven Gerrard: Scottish Cup challenge more interesting with Celtic draw

Steven Gerrard hailed his Rangers second string after they delivered on his challenge to set up a Scottish Cup showdown with Celtic.

The Ibrox outfit discovered before facing third-round opponents Cove Rangers the prize for the winner would be a crack at their Old Firm rivals in the last 16.

Despite making seven changes to the team that drew with the Hoops at Parkhead a fortnight ago, Gerrard’s team did not let him down as four first-half goals saw the newly crowned Scottish champions cruise past Paul Hartley’s League One part-timers.

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Speaking after Kemar Roofe’s double in between strikes from Jermain Defoe and Nathan Patterson helped Gers to a 4-0 win, he said: “We said to the players before the game that with all due respect to Cove who were going well, it was about Rangers tonight and we wanted to put in a real strong showing for us.

“We wanted to make the game about us. We wanted to get into the next round, we wanted that opportunity to play Celtic at home and the players have delivered.

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“I’ve made quite a few changes and given people an opportunity and our players have certainly respected the opposition by putting in a strong showing.

“This cup has become a priority now with the league done and dusted.

“We want to try to keep our level and it’s my job to make sure the players don’t start becoming complacent or thinking they can drop their standards.

“We are happy with the home draw to come out and obviously it being Celtic now makes it even more interesting. It will be a tough game, a tough challenge, but one we’re very much looking forward to.”

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