WITH four years of hurt, disappointment and even disillusionment now well behind the club, Lee Wallace reckons lifting the Scottish Cup tomorrow will be the ideal end to one of the darkest periods in the club’s history.
Of course, this season has been memorable given the way in which Rangers sealed their return to the Scottish Premiership, while the Petrofac Cup has also been secured, and Wallace sees victory over Hibernian at the National Stadium as perfect payback for the club’s supporters who have stood by the team during their four-year exile from Scotland’s top flight.
Speaking at yesterday’s press conference, the Rangers captain explained: “It will mean the world to me to be able to do it with this group of boys that we have, and I will be over the moon for everyone involved, and not just the players.
“The staff are thoroughly deserving of it, as are our fans, who have probably suffered the most over the last period of time.
“It would be nice and it would be fitting. It would make what has been a ‘good’ season a ‘great’ season.
“First and foremost, we are aware of Hibs’ threat based on the games we have played, and equally, we know what we need to do to win the game.”
And that threat is something Rangers are well used to, having faced Alan Stubbs’ side five times already this season.
They, of course, missed out on promotion to the Premiership courtesy of a last-gasp defeat to Falkirk in their play-off semi-final last week, but despite that, Wallace reckons that hurt will make them even more determined to succeed at Hampden tomorrow.
He continued: “We expect to face a team hungry to rectify the fact they missed out on promotion to the top flight. They’ll be hurting, and we know that will be their motivation, as will certain elements of their history.
“We just need to focus on what we do though and never deviate from that mentality and mindset we have had since day one, and that is about us and us only.
“We are aware of their issues and what they have got in terms of this game, but we know if we do what we do, prepare well and deliver our normal level of performance, then we should be fine.”
“The games we have played against each other will have been great for the neutral, and it’s certainly become one of the more attractive games in Scottish football.
“It’s disappointing it’s been happening in the Championship as every top game should be there, but they have been good games. We won three, they won two, and we feel in the two we lost we were still the dominant side, and we realise at the same time how and why we lost goals, and these are things we looked at in the days after the games in our analysis.
“That’s been and gone though, and it’s just all about tomorrow.”