Shiels up for the cup

Dean Shiels wants an extended run in the League Cup as Rangers seek to make amends for the Ramsdens Cup.

Last Updated: 24/09/12 at 16:49 Post Comment

Dean Shiels: Looking for cup run

Dean Shiels: Looking for cup run

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Dean Shiels has targeted an extended run in the Scottish Communities League Cup as Rangers seek to make amends for their Ramsdens Cup exit.

The Light Blues' hopes of a domestic clean sweep this season were shattered when they were dumped out on penalties by Queen of the South at Ibrox last week.

They now face their biggest test of the campaign so far when Clydesdale Bank Premier League leaders Motherwell come calling on Wednesday.

The third-round tie marks Rangers' first meeting with top-flight opposition since the newco were denied entry to the SPL and voted into the Scottish Football League in the summer.

Shiels wants to see Rangers forget about their Ramsdens disappointment and focus on success in other cup competitions.

The midfielder said: "We want to keep winning games and this is a cup we want to do well in. To do that, we will need to progress on Wednesday. It's going to be very tough.

"They are a very good side. They finished strongly last year and they've had a great start to the season this year so we expect it to be very tough."

Rangers head into the tie bolstered by a 4-1 win over Montrose in the Irn-Bru Third Division on Sunday.

They were given a tough time by the Gable Endies early on and the opener from Shiels was cancelled out by an own goal by Anestis Argyriou.

But first senior goals from Lewis Macleod and Robbie Crawford, as well as a 10th strike of the season from Lee McCulloch, allowed Gers to move to within a point of leaders Queen's Park.

Shiels said: "It was a lot better in the second half. We moved the ball a lot quicker and we pressed them a lot higher and we got the benefits of that.

"I think we switched off a bit at their set piece and we've been working a lot on that so we were very disappointed about that. We will probably look at it again and see where we can do better.

"We scored the first goal in this game and we have been conceding the first goal a lot in games so we were quite happy we started off by getting an early goal.

"Conceding again was disappointing but we came back and won comfortably in the end."

As well as the defeat to Queen of the South, Rangers have also yet to secure their first win away from home in the Third Division but Shiels stressed the new-look team needs more time to gel together.

He said: "We are basically a lot of individuals who have been brought together and it's going to take time for us to understand each other's games and strengths and to bring everything together.

"It takes time to build team spirit and a collective. Each game and each training session that goes past, we will look to build on that."

The Motherwell board released a statement calling for the focus to be on the football on Wednesday rather than the summer of negotiations and votes.

It read: "This week we are excited to be playing a Scottish Communities League Cup fixture against Rangers as both clubs build for the future.

"All of our focus should be on the field of play and we look forward to what promises to being a great game.

"We are pleased to note both the CEO and board of Rangers recently said they would welcome our staff and fans and we will extend the same courtesy to all clubs ourselves as we seek to create a welcoming family club.

"The past is done; we now can only influence the future. We are now totally focused on what happens on the field this week.

"More generally we want to put all our energies into building on the hard work we have done over the last few years to make our club a sustainable success."

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