Wilson hails resilient Rangers after defence provides platform
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.”