Wil­son hails re­silient Rangers af­ter de­fence pro­vides plat­form

The Herald - Herald Sport - - WILLIAM HILL SCOTTISH CUP SEMI-FINAL - STE­WART FISHER

DANNY Wil­son, the Rangers cen­tral de­fender, praised the re­silience the Ibrox club dis­played to book their place in next month’s Wil­liam Hill Scot­tish Cup fi­nal. Twice dur­ing the 120 min­utes, Mark War­bur­ton’s side were pegged back within a minute of restarts but the Cham­pi­onship win­ners stuck to their game plan to record their first vic­tory in this fix­ture since March 2012.

While goal­keeper Wes Foder­ing­ham, and goal heroes Kenny Miller and Bar­rie McKay will hog the head­lines, this was a tri­umph for the Ibrox side’s back­line, who gave their team a plat­form to win the match by keep­ing the ball nerve­lessly in the face of some fe­ro­cious Celtic press­ing. Wil­son said he felt he and his team-mates had proved a point to those who had largely writ­ten them off be­fore this match.

“When they equalise so soon, we could have crum­bled or they could have re­ally come into it,” said Wil­son. “But we al­ways try to take the sting out of the game by keep­ing the ball. Some­times that is the best form of de­fence.”

“Peo­ple will write or say what they want,” the 25-year-old added. “But we knew in the dress­ing room that we were ca­pa­ble of putting on a per­for­mance. Ob­vi­ously, the game fin­ished as a draw but we felt we were good value for the win. Any­thing can hap­pen when it gets to penal­ties and we are just grate­ful it has gone our way.”

Af­ter what was only his sec­ond Old Firm match, Wil­son re­fused to be drawn on whether Rangers will be able to com­pete for next sea­son’s Lad­brokes Premier­ship ti­tle. “We have played a cou­ple of teams now with mixed for­tunes,” said Wil­son. “But we feel we are a match for any­one on the day when we play the way we can.”

“We are not go­ing to get dragged into talk­ing about whether the gap is big or small,” he added. “We have al­ways thought we were try­ing to build a team and a squad that was ca­pa­ble of go­ing up and do­ing well in the top flight.”

It al­most seemed like it last night, but Rangers’ sea­son isn’t over yet. They travel to Easter Road for a dress re­hearsal of the fi­nal on Wed­nes­day and have three fur­ther league matches to ne­go­ti­ate be­fore the show­piece in May. “I will prob­a­bly look back on this in a cou­ple of weeks’ time and re­ally en­joy it but we have a job to do against Hibs on Wed­nes­day night,” said Wil­son. “But I don’t think any re­sult on Wed­nes­day night will have a bear­ing on the fi­nal.

“It will be two very good teams from the Cham­pi­onship, which shows how strong that league is.”

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