McGhee upbeat about “tough” Rangers draw

Mark McGhee roars on his troops during last Saturday's defeat at Tynecastle (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

Mark McGhee roars on his troops during last Saturday's defeat at Tynecastle (Pic by Ian McFadyen)

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Motherwell manager Mark McGhee accepts that his team could hardly have got it tougher in the fourth round draw for the William Hill Scottish Cup.

The Steelmen face a daunting trip to face Rangers at Ibrox on the weekend of January 21 and 22, having been defeated 2-0 and 2-1 to the Glasgow side in BetFred Cup and Scottish Premiership matches earlier this season.

“This draw is one of the harder ones we could have got,” McGhee said.

“But I think our performances against Rangers so far have been decent.

“We will have to be a wee bit better to beat them but I think we have shown enough to think we can go there and have a go.”

Monday night’s draw was the latest in a series of tough assignments presented to ’Well in the 2016-2017 campaign.

It follows hard on the heels of drawing Rangers in the BetFred Cup group stages and then Celtic away in the first knockout round of that tournament.

This latest cup draw has some ’Well fans wondering if the team is suffering from some sort of curse.

But McGhee added: “If we go to Ibrox and beat them it is not a curse.

“There are no conspiracy theories. It is the luck of the draw and that is what the cup is all about.

“We have to go there, have a go and try and come through.

“Having another Rangers game to look forward to is a little bit like back in pre-season.

“We felt back in the summer that having Rangers in the league cup gave us a focus for pre-season.

“Having Rangers after a winter break will equally concentrate us to make sure we prepare the best we can.”

That cup tie at Ibrox looks likely to be the first game back for stricken Motherwell midfielder Carl McHugh, who has been out with delayed concussion since suffering a horror head injury against Kilmarnock on the opening day of the season.

“Carl has made good progress,” McGhee said.

“He is in a much better place.

“He will definitely take being back for that Rangers game. We are not going to rush him or try and get him back before that.

“I’m sure that will be his target now.”