Rangers kids must blank out Ibrox flak

RANGERS midfielder Ian Black today claimed the Ibrox club's fans are making it harder for them to win games.

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Ian Black hopes the young Rangers players can switch off to stick from the fans
Ian Black hopes the young Rangers players can switch off to stick from the fans

But he predicted the Gers can still win the William Hill Scottish Cup despite failing to beat part-time Albion Rovers at home.

Black and his team mates struggled to earn a 1-1 draw against the Cliftonhill club in the quarter-final on Sunday afternoon.

And the 28-year-old has stated that Light Blues fans giving their own players stick made their task even more demanding.

But he believes the Rangers players have to learn how to handle the flak that flies in their direction at home.

Black said: "There are still a lot of kids in the squad who sometimes can't handle the crowd when they get on your back.

"They've just got to blank it out and try to concentrate on their own game and not let it affect them.

"It doesn't matter how well you are doing - there's always going to be someone putting you down. Over the course of my career, it's made me stronger.

"It's hard to ignore it at times, but you've got to shut it out. The fans pay their money to watch and have the right to say what they want.

"Sometimes they don't help us by getting on our backs. Even when you are winning, some aren't happy.

"But they've got their opinion and are allowed to say it. It's up to us to keep them happy."

Black added: "It's a weird one. You get a big crowd and if you are doing well, sometimes you don't even hear it. You're too concentrated on the game.

"You only hear it when possession stops or the ball's out of play or someone is injured. That's the only time you take in what's going on.

"It's just about focusing on the game as much as possible and trying to blank out what is being said.

"The majority of the time the game's going on, you don't hear the crowd. It's just a case of getting the young boys to learn to switch off and focus on the game."

However, Black is adamant that Ally McCoist's side can win the replay with James Ward's team at New Douglas Park, Hamilton, next Monday night - the clash is being screened live on Sky Sports - and then land the Scottish Cup.

If they overcome their Coatbridge rivals they will play SPFL Premiership club Dundee United in the semi-final at Ibrox on Saturday, April 12, with the match also live on Sky Sports at 12.45pm.

After their dire display against Rovers at the weekend few punters would bet on them progressing to the final at Parkhead in May.

But Black said: "It is a cup game, it is a one-off. If we beat Rovers in the replay, I am more than confident we can take anybody on our day.

"Everybody has a bad day. People talk about us, but Celtic have had bad days. They played Morton in the cup and lost and everybody slaughtered them for two days in the papers.

"We are getting it now. People are slaughtering us for not beating them (Rovers). But you have to give them credit and respect as well. We are happy with the way we are going."

Sport

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