STEVEN GERRARD is expecting a Premiership-level performance from his men when they travel to face League Two Cowdenbeath in the Scottish Cup tomorrow night.
The Light Blues go into the clash at Central Park off the back of an impressive 3-0 dismantling of a stubborn Livingston outfit in the league on Sunday evening.
And Gerrard is warning against his men showing any hints of complacency when they head to Fife for this rearranged tie.
Speaking at this afternoon’s press conference, the manager said: “I still want the same standards, same attitude and mentality. I think that is where you come unstuck in these ties if you get complacent and you think you can just turn up at places like Cowdenbeath and expect to win.
“That is when you face difficulties. We know we are going to get the best Cowdenbeath and when the draw was made, I’m sure there were a lot of smiles and excitement around their dressing room and this will be a fixture they are looking forward to.
“We expect the best Cowdenbeath and we need to respect that. If we want the so-called glamorous ties further down the line at Hampden, we have to go to places like Cowdenbeath and deliver.
“Their manager, I am sure will have a game plan that will make it complicated for us. It would be a schoolboy error to focus on the next round before we have faced Cowdenbeath.”
Given the level of performance against Livingston, Gerrard was asked if he has a selection headache in terms of personnel.
“I have that all the time,” he responded. “We have a big squad full of talented players and everyone is pushing and everyone wants to play.
“The atmosphere and the spirit in the group is fantastic – that’s the difficult part for me but it is how I want it – I want those dilemmas and those headaches in all of those positions.”
A standout in the game at Almondvale was Nikola Katic, with Gerrard saying of him: “I thought it was a very strong, commanding performance from Nikola. I think it was similar to the run of games he had at the beginning of the season when he was very commanding and in top form.
“He has come back after the winter break and worked ever so hard and really pushed me into playing him.
“I gave him an opportunity at the weekend and he has certainly grabbed it with both hands, and credit to him.”
Meanwhile, the boss delivered a good news update on the injury front on Graham Dorrans, adding: “Graham is training today for the first time with the team which is great for us. We will be patient with him as he has missed a lot of football.
“He has been to every one of our games and has followed the team as he’s very interested and desperate to get back which is also good to see from a manager’s point of view.
“The challenge for Graham now is can he get himself fit and match sharp, and come in and be ready to push the lads who are in the starting XI and the 18.”