Up For The Cup! - The Future Starts Now!

Last updated : 03 February 2006 By ERWIN GANGHUTTER
Of course, the absence of Them from the Scottish Cup, even at this early stage (tee-hee), has heightened the expectation levels of Bears and a season which was going down the toilet could yet end with a big Hampden party in May.  But if Rangers are to make it happen, they will have to be right on top of their game at the weekend when they will undoubtedly face a team well noised up by our attempt to sign their top man on Tuesday night.
Having been second best in both SPL meetings with Hibs, Big Eck’s men will be well aware of the task they face but the improvement in form, albeit only marginal, can have done confidence no harm at all and there is no reason why we shouldn’t look forward to a very exciting and successful afternoon.
Seeing off Hibs will not only take us one step closer to getting our hands on the old trophy again, it will be a bitter blow to Easter Road morale at a time when, having just been hammered in their derby clash with Hearts, they have seen us leapfrog over them in the league table.  And with Mowbray’s men due back at Ibrox in a fortnight, Rangers have a wonderful opportunity to hammer home our renewed superiority.
Of course, the Riordan factor could have a huge influence on the game.  Had Rangers’ bid been successful, he would have been ineligible for the tie, having played for Hibs against Arbroath in the third round, but his absence would have been a big loss to the visitors.  However, with him sure to be in his usual place in Mowbray’s line-up, he will pose a big threat and, just like Kris Boyd for Killie against us in December, Riordan might be especially motivated for this one.
The disappointment of our club’s inactivity during the transfer window must be forgotten on Saturday.  Regardless of our personal feelings, each and every one of us must get right behind the team and urge the players to produce that little bit more which could salvage something from a very troublesome season.  Having frequently been looking for turning points, an impressive performance and good result from this game could have a major bearing on how the remaining weeks and months pan out.
Every opportunity to rekindle the Follow Follow feelgood factor must be grasped greedily.  If we can kick-start our season on Saturday, the players can only be lifted and, although lacking new faces in the squad, there might be renewed self-belief which could stand us in good stead for the remainder of the SPL programme and our eagerly-awaited Champions League dates.