Can Rangers win a Cup this season?

Posted by John Gow

Julian Finney/Getty ImagesRangers' last Cup triumph was the 2010-11 Scottish League Cup when they defeated rivals Celtic in the final.

Three pre-season games and three victories for Rangers. The latest being a 1-0 win away to Bristol City in temperatures so high that the players needed to stop for water breaks. The solitary goal came from wonder-kid Lewis Macleod, and that's an impressive three strikes in three matches for the midfielder.

But results don't matter in pre-season. The most vital aspect is getting the squad fit for the first real fixture in the Ramsdens Cup on the 28th July against Albion Rovers. While the league (or to be precise, promotion) is the only real goal for the club, it is an interesting question to ask if the Light Blues can win a cup this season.

In normal times that would only be the League and Scottish Cup, but for the next two years the Gers will be trying to capture the Ramsdens Cup. Last year Queen of the South knocked them out in the quarter-finals at Ibrox, and fully deserved to go on and win the trophy. None other than new signing Nicky Clark helped the Doonhammers, and there can be no complaints.

But this is a different squad of players and better circumstances for the club. Life isn't perfect, but surely the Gers have the best team in this particular cup competition? Is winning the Ramsdens Cup achievable? The answer is yes. Should Rangers supporters expect to win it? The answer is also yes. If Ally McCoist doesn't manage a win, should he be sacked? The answer to this is no.

Cups should rarely, if ever, decide the fate of a manager. As long as Rangers are progressing in their football and winning the Second Division, then that is what matters. Although, it would still put pressure on him and be an embarrassment if he failed to win a cup that doesn't have the top division (the new Scottish Premiership) competing in it.

So what about the big two cups? As much as winning the Ramsdens would be a nice bonus and a day out for the Bears, it's a win of the big two that would really rock the Scottish football boat. But is it even achievable? Could this team really go on and beat a couple of 'Premiership' teams in the process?

They could but they would need to be at their best and carry a bit of luck, although the odds are against it. This time last year there was big talk that the Gers were buying players for a crack at the big cups, but reality showed otherwise.

After a good win against Motherwell, Rangers were thoroughly beaten by Inverness Caledonian Thistle and given an unfortunate lesson by Dundee Utd. The latter game thoroughly embarrassed the fans -- not in the defeat -- but in the meek way their team performed.

On their day this Rangers team is still capable of beating any Scottish team at Ibrox, including Celtic, (although this is not to say Celtic aren't a far better side because they are), but this time there is a little more common sense from the club, and the fans aren't going to worry too much if they don’t win any of the big two trophies.

The rise through the divisions is being called 'The Journey' and the final destination is still far away. Maybe the players will surprise everyone and do something spectacular, but as long as they give a good account of themselves and give the fans a proud performance then no one will complain.

Cup Predictions

Rangers will get to the Quarter-Finals of one of the big two cups (at least) and win the Ramsdens Cup.

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