By Jonty Banks

18th Mar, 2023 | 10:40am

Scottish Cup silverware should be Michael Beale number one priority at Rangers this season - Barry Ferguson

Barry Ferguson has urged Michael Beale and Rangers to make winning the Scottish Cup their number one priority this season and admitted it is the club’s last realistic chance of silverware.

The Gers were humbled by Celtic in the ViaPlay Cup final as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at Hampden Park – a scoreline that didn’t do justice to the domination of Ange Postecoglou’s side.

The Old Firm rivals square off once more in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup on 30 April, and former Ibrox legend Ferguson said all attention within Michael Beale’s squad should be turned to this crunch clash when writing his weekly column for the Daily Record.

Writing about the cup final performance, Ferguson said: “But it just wasn’t enough. Now the teams are going to get another shot at each other at the national stadium and if I were one of those guys in that dressing room I’d be saying, ‘bring it on’.

“These guys need to make sure they put on a performance that reflects the progress they’ve made under Beale’s leadership and make sure they reach that final. Make no mistake, retaining the Scottish Cup is now the No.1 priority for this team.

“Rangers have passed up way too many opportunities in recent years. However, this is a club that simply has to be about winning trophies regularly and as the last realistic shot at one this season, they have to take it.”

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Crunch period

If Beale and Rangers wanted to write their wrongs from the Viaplay Cup final, they have the perfect run of fixtures as the league season draws to a close.

The Gers face off against their noisy neighbours twice in April, once at Hampden Park and another in the Scottish Cup, and this could be the perfect opportunity to exact revenge on Postecolgou.

It already feels like there have been changes aplenty since their last meeting, with the midfield that was dominated by Celtic on that day having been given some major surgery.

Recently the likes of Glen Kamara and John Lundstram have found themselves resigned to more of a bit part duty, with Ryan Jack, Nicolas Raskin and Todd Cantwell comprising a new-look midfield three.

The balance that this trio has struck will hopefully be enough to topple Celtic in the Scottish Cup semi-final, as the club, and more importantly, the board, can’t afford a trophyless season.

In other Rangers news, a pundit with insider information at Ibrox has shared one condition that will make Douglas Park leave the club.