Andy Walker looks ahead to Rangers' Cup clash with Falkirk
Rangers will see the Scottish Cup as a chance to make a statement, says Andy Walker.
Last Updated: 27/11/13 4:02pm
But Ally McCoist and his team will no doubt view this weekend's Scottish Cup tie away to Falkirk on Saturday as an opportunity to show everyone in Scottish football that he has a team capable of winning Scotland's major domestic trophy.
Previous chief executive Charles Green didn't get many things right during his brief time at Ibrox but he was spot on when he suggested McCoist and his players should be doing much better in cup competitions.
Last season, the Ibrox side lost to Queen of the South, Inverness Caley Thistle and Dundee Utd in a poor show of competing in one-off cup-ties.
And earlier this season, Forfar caused a huge upset in the League Cup when they eventually beat Rangers in extra-time.
Since then, Rangers have been scoring freely and winning consistently in League One and have drawn a young Championship side managed by McCoist's former Kilmarnock team-mate Gary Holt.
McCoist will surely be taking nothing for granted as Falkirk put Rangers to the sword in a thrilling 3-2 cup victory two years ago.
In comparison to last season, Rangers are a much-improved side and are expected to go far in this tournament.
With Lee McCulloch & Lee Wallace at the back, Nicky Law and Ian Black in the middle of the park & Jon Daly playing well and scoring consistently, the Rangers support have every right to be confident in their team just now.
However, it's what lies ahead at the business end of the cup competition that will prove to be the main challenge.
A fixture similar to the tie that saw them drawn against Dundee Utd will provide a mouth-watering prospect for the Rangers support that firmly believe they have a chance of securing the cup for the first time since 2009, ironically when they beat Falkirk in the final.
Gary Holt has continued the fine work started by Steven Pressley in that he actively encourages young players from their academy to be given a chance at first-team level.
At just 19 years of age, Jay Fulton has already played around 100 senior games and a serious test against illustrious opponents represents the type of challenge he enjoys.
On Sunday, Aberdeen travel to Glasgow for another clash with Partick Thistle, a team they have beaten comfortably twice already this season.
With a League Cup semi-final tucked away for early next year, Derek McInnes has another chance to show his team are getting back to competing for domestic success again.
Earlier in the league campaign they travelled to Firhill and won 3-0 before going one better at Pittodrie against Alan Archibald's men and winning 4-0 a few weeks ago.
Aberdeen are a side still very much in transition but the early signs are encouraging for the Dons support, who travel in huge numbers desperate to see a winning side.
The biggest problem for Alan Archibald is turning some of their impressive outfield play into goals.
Last weekend at Tannadice, both Conrad Balatoni and Stuart Bannigan were sent off and it proves that discipline is as important as ability when a team is hoping to be successful.