21 Apr One swallow doesn’t make a summer for Rangers
Danny Wilson admits even victory over Celtic in Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup showdown will not be enough to make up for Rangers’ nightmare league campaign.
The Ibrox side will hope to halt Celtic’s treble quest when the bitter rivals meet in the Hampden semi-final.
While the Hoops are looking to take another step towards a historic clean sweep as well as maintaining their unbeaten domestic record, Gers are just looking to salvage some pride after a disappointing campaign.
Not only did they surrender any notion of battling Brendan Rodgers’ men for the Ladbrokes Premiership crown, but they have also let second place slip from their grasp and will likely limp over the line in third.
Hopes of an upset, though, have risen since the Light Blues claimed a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park last month, but defender Wilson confessed even victory at the National Stadium will not wash away a season’s worth of frustrations.
He said: “Over the course of the season we’ve been poor. We’ve not been consistent enough so I don’t think you can say it would be a success just by getting to one cup final.
“We would have preferred to do a lot better in the league.
“But as it it is, a win on Sunday would give us something to look forward to.”
Caretaker Graeme Murty was in charge of the team for that most recent derby duel but new boss Pedro Caixinha will be in the dugout on Sunday.
The Portuguese coach has racked up three wins and two draws from his first five games since moving to Glasgow but Wilson insists no-one at Ibrox is getting ahead of themselves.
“We’ve let ourselves down over the course of the season so to talk about confidence I don’t think is really right,” he admitted. “We’re on a good run right now and we want to keep it going to make sure we’ve got a final to play for.
“Is our motivation about stopping Celtic’s run? No, i t’s just all about getting to the final.
“If you asked a lot of the boys that’s why we came to Rangers, to play in cup finals and we’ve got the opportunity to go and do that, so that’s our full focus for Sunday.
“There is no point in u s turning up if we don’t think we can win.
“Obviously it’s a semi-final, a chance to get to a final, so when we go there we treat it like we do every game and try to get the victory.
“We’re under no doubts it’s going to be tough game for us, but we went to Celtic Park and got a draw in the league and hopefully we can go one better this time.”
The teams met at the same stage of the competition last year, with Mark Warburton’s Championship Gers claiming a stunning penalty shoot-out triumph to leave former Hoops boss Ronny Deila shellshocked.
And Wilson would love to sample a repeat of the wild celebrations that followed.
“I think it’s a completely different game, different managers, there are lot of differences in the games,” said the former Hearts and Scotland centre-back. “But we can look back and remember the feeling we had at the end of it. We all want a bit more of that.”
Wilson should reform his defensive partnership with Clint Hill after the veteran rejoined Caixinha’s squad following three games out with a calf injury.
But if the 38-year-old does miss out again, Wilson has no fears about young understudy David Bates, nor teenage left-back Myles Beerman, being plunged into Old Firm action for the first time after their recent introduction to the first team.
He said: “I think they’ve been terrific. They’ve helped us rack up three clean sheets first and foremost and that’s their main job. But they have offered us a lot more over and above that, especially Myles going forward.
“David has been solid too. He’s won his duels and it’s been good to play with them both. There’s a lot of pressure when you come into the team but they have done great.
“If they are needed on Sunday I’m sure they will be ready for it.”