RANGERS can go one step closer to glory by beating Livingston in the Betfred Cup tomorrow, with assistant manager Gary McAllister believing the trophy’s return to Ibrox would hand his players more belief going forward.
The Light Blues haven’t won any major silverware since 2011, and know a win in West Lothian tomorrow night will send them into a Hampden semi-final at the start of November.
Speaking at this afternoon’s press conference, McAllister explained: “This is an early opportunity to try and get to Hampden. It’s the first of the four competitions we are in where the final comes up, so we just want to try and keep our momentum going.
“People might look at it and say it might be at the bottom of our priority list – but no – this club needs to win so we will be very, very strong and our preparation will be diligent going into this game, just like it’s been in this recent run of great results.
“Our first trophy would bring back greater belief within the club and within the fantastic fanbase we have got here. Getting that first one is crucial and this is the one which comes early.
“I definitely think, when I played at Liverpool, the Worthington Cup victory [in 2001] was the real catalyst to going on and winning that treble, without a shadow of a doubt.
“It gave the players the belief and, similarly, Liverpool had gone a similar time without winning something, and the players built on it.
“Once you get one, it becomes a bit of a habit.”
McAllister was also asked if he and boss Steven Gerrard will be making changes to the XI for tomorrow’s game, and he responded: “We are looking at each game in isolation and we don’t want to be making loads of change. On occasions last season, we did make two, three, four changes after a run of good results.
“I think the lesson learned from last year is to try and make as little changes as possible.
“The only wee doubt for the game is Brandon Barker. He took a knock on his toe, so he is a slight doubt.
“Just saw Ryan Kent flying around the training ground this morning and he is moving pretty well and Jordan Jones is improving quickly.
“The other thing too, the guys who have been on the periphery of things, they are pushing the more-recognised starting XI. There is healthy competition at the moment.
“[Kent and Jones] won’t be rushed, but they are back on the training ground a bit quicker than we anticipated.”