St Johnstone Super Fan delivers lowdown on Rangers clash
This is part of a regular series from our panel of Super Fans on upcoming Rangers games. Ahead of our Scottish Cup clash with St Johnstone, we spoke to one of their fan groups, who can be found on Twitter @StJohnstoneFans.
The clubs only met on Wednesday but Rangers and St Johnstone will be pitting their wits against each other once again on Sunday, this time in the Scottish Cup.
Steven Gerrard elected to make wholesale changes for the midweek Scottish Premiership clash, with seven players coming into the starting XI, but the gamble looked to be paying off despite a nervy game.
However a rash challenge by Jack Simpson in the dying embers handed the Saints the chance to equalise from the penalty spot and Liam Craig duly dispatched it.
That’s sure to give Callum Davidson’s side renewed hope ahead of this weekend’s Scottish Cup quarter-final at Ibrox.
Ahead of the game Ibrox News asked a St Johnstone’s fan group for their thoughts on Wednesday’s game, how it will impact Sunday’s fixture, and their prediction for it.
What did you make of Wednesday’s clash at McDiarmid Park? Can you take encouragement from that even though Gerrard rang the changes?
I thought it was actually quite a good watch! The first 10/15 minutes we were well on top and could and probably should’ve been two-up. I was impressed with how we kept our shape and the way we pressed forcing some mistakes, which you just don’t associate with Rangers at the moment. Scott Wright took his goal brilliantly, but I felt we could’ve dealt with it a lot better further up the pitch – particularly Shaun Rooney. As is always the case against the Old Firm, if you don’t score when you’re on top you’ll find yourself 1-0 down soon enough. Luckily we had enough to claw back and get something from the game. I don’t really want to bang on about the refereeing, but of all the penalty claims, the one he actually gave was the least deserving of one, for me.
Are you expecting Davidson to make any changes for Sunday, either in personnel or to his tactics?
I would probably hazard a guess that we’ll switch back to one up front with two wider players in behind, but it’s anyone’s guess. I wouldn’t say it’s my favourite, but there’s a reason Callum is paid to make these decisions and I’m on Twitter moaning about them!
What have you made of the Light Blues this season? Have they surprised you?
I think they’ve been excellent, by far and away the best team in the league and thoroughly deserving of the league title. But I wouldn’t so much say it’s taken me by surprise, as you could see the last couple of years the wheels were in motion – they just happened to fall off around January. Credit to Gerrard for ensuring that doesn’t happen this time around!
Which Rangers players are you most fearful of heading into our second encounter this week?
It’ll no doubt be the most generic answer but Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos, how they’ve performed over the last few seasons has been brilliant. Morelos’ game has obviously matured this year making him even more of a handful and just how direct Kent can be at times can be frightening – even more so if he’s up against Scott Tanser who’s a bit suspect in one on ones!
Are there any weak points in the Gers side you think can be exploited?
I would like to think with the likes of Chris Kane, Stevie May and Michael O’Halloran that there’s the potential to get beyond and in behind Filip Helander, but that’s easier said than done!
What’s your score prediction for Sunday?
I’ve got to stay loyal and say 2-0 to the Saints, the same as in the 2006 CIS Cup!