Blogs & Opinion

Silent protest

Andy Walker looks at why few Rangers fans will be making the trip to Dundee Utd for the Scottish Cup

Andy Walker - Andy Walker Posted 28th January 2013 view comments

When Dundee United host Rangers this weekend in the first of two Scottish Cup fifth round ties live on Sky, the bad feelings between the two clubs may spill over.

Even though a few hundred Rangers fans will attend the game at Tannadice, the Ibrox club have refused to take up their allocation of tickets for the match in protest at United's opposition to Rangers application to re-join the SPL in the wake of liquidation.

Daly: danger man for Dundee

Daly: danger man for Dundee

Terrors chairman Stephen Thomson was viewed by most inside Ibrox as being one of the most outspoken in determining the Gers' punishment for the spectacular financial mismanagement of their club.

Ally McCoist would of course prefer to have his team backed by its usual strong travelling support - but he too has supported chief executive Charles Green's decision to take a very public stance.

Official Rangers supporters groups are all in agreement that they'd rather not give any of their money to Utd and the truth is that the relationship between the clubs has never been more strained.

Andy Walker
Quotes of the week

Live on Sky

Dundee Utd v Rangers (Saturday, 12.45pm, Sky Sports 1HD)

Official Rangers supporters groups are all in agreement that they'd rather not give any of their money to United and the truth is that the relationship between the clubs has never been more strained.

Since being placed in Scottish football's lowest tier, Rangers have played SPL opponents twice at Ibrox in the League Cup - beating Motherwell very comfortably before losing to Inverness Caley Thistle.

Biggest test

This will be their biggest test of the season by far, away to an experienced Dundee Utd side that parted company with manager Peter Houston on Monday. Houston had already announced he would be leaving Tayside at the end of the season having refused to extend his current contract.

With the club preparing for severe cut-backs on the current budget, young First Division managers like Partick Thistle's Jackie McNamara and Falkirk's Steven Pressley are now on the radar of the United board. Neither of these men have ever had a big budget for players and enjoyed relative success with smaller clubs, hence the belief that they can do similar work at a higher level.

I was at Tannadice on Saturday to see United play out a 1-1 draw with Ross County - and they go into this clash with the unfamiliar tag of favourites. Sean Dillon and Gavin Gunning offer experience at the back; Willo Flood and John Rankin provide the same in midfield while the flair of Mackay-Steven, Russell and Armstrong is a big plus for any side.

Captain Jon Daly is the obvious physical threat and his contest with the likes of Ross Perry and Chris Hegarty will be significant.


Ally McCoist must turn to his senior players to try and match the experience of United. With a 20-point lead at the top of the Third Division table, the title will be theirs soon enough. Competing against experienced pros in the top flight is a different matter. Lee McCulloch has shown leadership qualities all season but others such as Lee Wallace, Ian Black and Dean Shiels have had very inconsistent seasons against part-time opponents.

Given the bad feeling surrounding the game, it's important for both sets of players to keep a sense of discipline. The referee will also be aware of a potential powder keg clash and may well stamp his authority at the first sign of trouble.

Having watched both sides a few times this season, United's superior experience and intensity of play should see them come out on top.

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Jamie Carragher

Bruce almighty

Steve Bruce deserves a mention when this year's managerial awards are handed out, says Carra....

Peter Beagrie

An Easter feast

Beags previews the cracking Easter action in the Championship, including games for the top three....

Martin Tyler

Goal crazy

When did Liverpool last score three without Suarez and Sturridge netting? Martin Tyler has the stats......


Latest News RSS feeds

Rodgers: Nothing guaranteed

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Sunderland's draw with Manchester City is a "warning sign" for his side.

Fernandinho: Draw a disaster

Fernandinho says Manchester City's 2-2 draw with the Premier League's bottom club Sunderland was "a complete disaster".

Giroud happy with goals tally

Olivier Giroud has declared himself happy with his goalscoring record this season after hitting the 20-goal mark.

Suarez urges fans to be calm

Luis Suarez has told Liverpool fans to stay calm as the club attempts to win its first top-flight title in 24 years.

Sherwood: Lamela season over

Tim Sherwood says Erik Lamela will not figure again this season and still has plenty to prove at Tottenham.


Kevin Davies and Guy Branston on the Football League Play-Offs

Kevin Davies and Guy Branston on the Football League Play-Offs has been getting inside the minds of the players this season.

Sterling work

Sterling work

From man on the fringes to a key player, could Raheem Sterling now decide the destination of the title?

No engineer fix

No engineer fix

Matt Stanger reflects on a night that saw the title slip further out of Manchester City's grasp.