Rangers manager Ally McCoist admits his side will have to improve if they are to have a chance of getting past Dundee United in next month’s Scottish Cup semi-final.
The Glasgow giants claimed a place in the last four of the competition after they defeated part-timers Albion Rovers 2-0 in their quarter-final replay at New Douglas Park on Monday night.
It extended the League One champions’ unbeaten run to 32 games in all competitions and sets up a semi-final tie against Premiership side Dundee United, who have eliminated Rangers from the competition in three of the past four years, on April 12.
That match will be played at Rangers’ Ibrox stadium after it was picked by the Scottish Football Association as the venue for both semi-final ties due to redevelopment work taking place at Hampden Park to lay track for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
But despite the home advantage McCoist knows his side will need to up their game if they are to have a chance of reaching their first national final since 2011.
“We will have to play better. With respect to Albion Rovers, Dundee United are a good side,” the Rangers manager said.
“They beat St Mirren 3-2 after being 2-0 down at the weekend and battered five by Inverness, who were in the League Cup final yesterday so United are a very, very good side. So we will certainly have to be on top of our game to meet that challenge.”
Rangers faced United in last year’s fifth round with Jackie McNamara’s side running out comfortable 3-0 winners at Tannadice against the fallen Glasgow giants, who were then plying their trade in Scotland’s bottom tier following liquidation in June 2012.
However, McCoist has added substantially to his squad since then and the Gers gaffer feels his side will put in a better performance.
“We are obviously hopeful that this side is better,” McCoist said.
“We feel we’ve made some good signings but United are still a very good team so it should be a cracker of a game.
“We’re really looking forward to it and I’m sure Jackie and his boys are too but there’s a good bit of football to be played before that.”
Fraser Aird grabbed the opener for Rangers against Albion Rovers before Jon Daly headed home a second in the 57th minute to net his 24th of the season.
The Irish striker played with United last season and can’t wait to face his former side next month.
“It’s a game I’m looking forward to and I’m sure the boys I played with last year will be on to me now with a bit of banter. But it’s a game against a very good side and we’re very aware of them,” Daly said.
“They’re going to pose a real threat going forward and it’s a game we are all looking forward to.”