16 Jan Stranraer boss Farrell admits Rangers are a ‘different animal’ to 2013 clash
Boss Stevie Farrell recalled Stranraer giving Rangers a bloody nose at Ibrox but believes the Light Blues will be a different proposition in Friday’s William Hill Scottish Cup tie in Govan.
The Gers were making their way through the lower leagues following their financial implosion in 2012 which saw the club emerge in the bottom tier when the Stair Park outfit grabbed a shock draw the following year.
It was the first League One points dropped that season by Rangers who are now back in the Ladbrokes Premiership and challenging Celtic for the title under the tutelage of Steven Gerrard.
Ahead of the fourth-round tie at Ibrox, Farrell told the PA news agency that times have changed since Stranraer’s only positive result against the Gers in eight encounters.
“I have been to Ibrox on a number of occasions as an assistant manager, never as a manager, so I am looking forward to the game,” said the former St Mirren and Stenhousemuir player, who will not have loan striker Denny Johnstone available due to him being cup-tied with Falkirk.
“I was assistant to Stevie Aitken when we drew 1-1 on Boxing Day 2013, against Ally McCoist’s team.
“We deserved our point and I think Ally said that.
“Lee McCulloch scored an early penalty after about six minutes and Jamie Longworth scored for us in the 90th minute.
“Even at that time in the game we thought we would get a chance and that’s what happened.
“But this Rangers team are a different team to back then. This is a different animal.
“I think this Rangers team is probably as good as they have been for a number of years.
“They can hurt the best teams in Scotland in so many ways, in terms of their offensive shape and how good they are going forward with that fluidity.
“We know we are going to be up against a really good side who are in top form and full of confidence.
“We know it is a tough task on Friday but all we can do is prepare, be as professional as we possibly can, go here and try to be as competitive as we possibly can.
“There are always shocks and there will be a shock in this round.
“I have said that to the players all the time. Can it be Stranraer at Rangers? Everybody and their granny will say absolutely not but you just never know.”