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‘They had luck in good run’ – Naismith on Rangers



Naismith (right) believes his side can match Clement’s Rangers

Heart of Midlothian boss Steven Naismith says Rangers “carried a bit of luck” in their good run of results and is not surprised by their poor form.

Ex-Rangers forward Naismith’s side face his old club – who have won just once in their last five games – in the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup on Sunday.

“It’s unexpected – surprised, though, I’m not so sure,” Naismith said.

“There are a number of players who have been there over the years but failed to win trophies.”

He added: “From my own experiences, it’s a tough club, a tough environment, but for any player when you win trophies it feels great. Doing it is the hard part.

“For us that’s the focus. We have made good strides this season and we know we are a good team and have an opportunity to try and win the cup.”

The former Scotland striker pointed to the dramatic late turnaround at Ibrox on 29 October as an example of things going Rangers’ way during their successful run following Philippe Clement’s arrival.

Naismith says Rangers’ dip in form has developed over a period of time and that when Clement is missing certain players, his system suffers.

“I don’t think it’s something that’s happened overnight,” said Naismith, whose side defeated Livingston and St Mirren to arrest their own poor form in March.

“When we got beat 2-1, we were winning at 90 minutes. What we did up to that point in the game was good and we caused them a lot of problems.

“I think in their run of games they have carried a bit of luck as well. That game for instance and a couple of others.

“They are a team that plays a certain way and like every team the style may not change but if the personnel is not right the game plays out slightly differently.

“Ultimately it’s an opportunity for one of the two teams to get into a final. We are in a good position. The last two results are good and we go in full of confidence.”

Naismith expects to chose from the same squad as he did last weekend, with Calem Nieuwenhof still not fit and Craig Halkett and Liam Boyce set to miss out.


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