Wallace says no cupset on cards for Rangers on Friday

LEE Wallace and his Rangers team-mates suffered a humiliating defeat when they reached this stage of the William Hill Scottish Cup last year.

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Lee Wallace is not taking the game with Dunfermline on Friday lightly as Rangers look to go on a cup run
Lee Wallace is not taking the game with Dunfermline on Friday lightly as Rangers look to go on a cup run

They went into their fifth-round match against Dundee United at Tannadice with hopes high they could record what would have been a sweet victory.

Having been dumped into the Third Division after their former top flight rivals - including United - refused to allow them entry into the top flight, it was a real grudge match.

However, in front of just a small handful of their fans - the majority of their followers boycotted the fixture - they had a nightmare afternoon on Tayside.

Johnny Russell scored for United in the opening minute of the cup tie and the visitors eventually crashed to a heavy 3-0 loss.

But a lot has changed at Rangers in the last 12 months and Wallace is confident they can overcome Dunfermline on Friday night and go on a good run in the cup.

Even if, as is highly likely, they get drawn to face an SPFL Premiership side in the next round of the national knockout cup competition.

McCoist strengthened his squad with experienced senior players like Cammy Bell, Jon Daly, Nicky Law and Bilel Mohsni during the summer months.

Their left-back believes having those individuals, along with the likes of Ian Black, Ricky Foster, Lee McCulloch, Dean Shiels and David Templeton will help the Ibrox club in the cup this season.

Bell, Black, McCulloch, Mohsni and Shiels all have experience of playing in - and, in many instances, of winning - major cup finals.

And Wallace is hopeful their elder statesmen will be invaluable against Jim Jefferies' side and, if they overcome them, top flight clubs after that.

He said: "We are looking forward to playing in the Scottish Cup again. We know it will be a tough game and nobody is taking Dunfermline for granted.

"And we appreciate that, if we are lucky enough to get through against Dunfermline, we will probably be up against a Premiership side.

"But we have got a lot of guys in our dressing room now who are right good players and who have experience of playing top-flight football.

"When the big games come along, when games against full-time clubs like Dunfermline and clubs that play in the Premiership, they will certainly rise to the occasion.

"However, if we apply ourselves properly and play to the best of our abilities then we can certainly go and enjoy a good run in the cup this season."

Scotland internationalist Wallace has, by some distance, been the best Rangers player during the 2013/14 campaign.

Light Blues supporters everywhere breathed a sigh of relief when the January transfer window closed on Friday night without their left-back leaving.

Sky Bet Championship club Nottingham Forest tabled two bids in the region of £1million for the player - but both were rejected by his employers.

For a variety of reasons, Templeton and Shiels have not enjoyed they same consistency as their team-mate.

But Wallace has been delighted to see the forwards rediscover their best form in recent weeks.

And he feels both men will have huge parts to play in their meeting with Dunfermline at Ibrox on Friday night.

He said: "I think David and Dean are both very similar players in the respect they can affect what the team does.

"Temps comes in and adds a dynamism to our play in the forward areas. He can go and do things on his own.

"If he is on my side he can link with me and if he is in the hole he can link with other players around about him.

"Deano is exactly the same. He gets the ball in great areas, takes it on the turn and just makes things happen for us.

"Both of them have brought a real freshness and vitality to the side in the last few games and have played their part.

"They've been vital players for us in fact. We hope that continues in the games we've got coming up - starting against Dunfermline on Friday night."

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