Allan Johnston: ‘Carrot of Rangers dangling for Dunfermline in Scottish Cup replay with Hamilton Accies’

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ALLAN Johnston insists the quarter-final draw has handed Dunfermline a massive incentive for their Scottish Cup replay against Hamilton Accies.

The winners of the tie will be rewarded with a glamour trip to face Rangers at Ibrox in the last-eight and the Pars are determined to set up the mouthwatering encounter with a victory on Tuesday night.

Johnston believes his team should have already booked their place in the next round after taking the lead with Paul McMullan’s first-half strike against Accies at home on Saturday.

And, despite being pegged back by the Premiership strugglers through Danny Redmond’s late equaliser, the East End Park manager insists the weekend clash has given his players belief they can still progress.

He told @CCP_sport: “I was really pleased with the performance at the weekend. I was just disappointed not to get the win, obviously.

“But when you see the draw for the quarter-finals, it’s a great opportunity for us to go and play against Rangers at Ibrox.

“All the boys are really looking forward to trying to do that.

“Obviously, the Hamilton game comes first and foremost, we’ve got to focus on that first.

“But getting the chance to play against one of the top teams in the country is a wee carrot for the boys.

“Everyone’s desperate to play because we know how big a game it is if we can get through to the next round.”

CHANCES

Having averted a cup shock at the weekend, Hamilton will themselves be determined to finish the job on home territory.

Johnston accepts that Accies will be expected to go through but believes his players will be buoyed by being able to match top-flight opposition on Saturday.

The Pars boss, who will give skipper Andy Geggan until the last minute to shake off a knock sustained on Saturday, added: “Hamilton is a really hard place to go to, they’ve got a lot of good players and we’re going to have to be at it again; the performance levels have got to be as good as the last game.

“They are going to create chances, they’ve got good players, so we’ve got to take our chances when they come along.

“But we’re going into the game with a lot of confidence and I think the pressure’s on Hamilton, especially with them being at home as well.

“They’re the Premiership team and they’ll be expected to come at us to try to win the game.

“So, we know we’re going to have to defend well and hopefully we can catch them going the other way as well.”

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