McKenna says Aberdeen have ‘nothing to fear’ if they turn up for Scottish Cup replay with Rangers

Scott McKenna pictured at Celtic Park
Scott McKenna pictured at Celtic Park

After shutting out Celtic, Scott McKenna aims to do the same to Rangers and book Aberdeen’s place in the Scottish Cup semi-final.

The Dons drew 0-0 with the Hoops at Parkhead on Saturday in a disciplined performance against the champions.

The Reds were chasing a club record eighth straight away win and, although they didn’t get it, they kept a clean sheet and gave Celtic a few scares.

McKenna knows a similar performance will be needed defensively tomorrow at Ibrox as the Dons face Rangers in the Scottish Cup quarter-final replay.

Having beaten the Gers 1-0 in Govan in the Premiership and at Hampden in the League Cup semi-final, the Scotland international is confident of again shutting out Rangers.

McKenna, 22, said: “We have to take confidence from coming down to Glasgow and keeping a clean sheet against one of the Old Firm.

“We have already kept clean sheets against Rangers in Glasgow so we go into the game with confidence knowing we have a chance of winning.

“The results we’ve had against Rangers do give us encouragement because we’ve beat them at Hampden and Ibrox this season.

“We go there knowing that we have nothing to fear if we turn up and play as well as we can, like we have in the past.

“They had a few chances in the first game (1-1 at Pittodrie last Sunday) and it’s probably a poor goal for us to concede from a set-piece.

“But we will go into this game fully focused and trying not to lose any sloppy goals again.

“We sat in well against Celtic and managed to frustrate them.

Celtic’s Oliver Burke rises highest against Scott McKenna but fails to convert.

“They didn’t really pick us open much, apart from one save in the second half when Joe Lewis bailed us out. Apart from that our defending was good and we never really allowed them to threaten us.

“It is a challenge playing against some of their strikers, but we (McKenna and Andy Considine) have to work together to nullify their threat.

“When one goes the other has to cover round, but for the majority of the game we did that well and kept them quiet.”

McKenna hasn’t always enjoyed the best of times against Rangers this season.

In a 1-1 draw at Pittodrie on the opening weekend of the Premiership, the defender suffered a hamstring injury.

And last month he was sent off during a 4-2 home loss for the Dons against Steven Gerrard’s side.

McKenna was red carded for kicking out at striker Alfredo Morelos after the striker had stamped on him.

McKenna was angry after that dismissal, which meant he picked up a three-game suspension.

However, since his return from his ban in the 2-0 loss to Hamilton on February 23, he has been happy with his form.

McKenna added: “The sending off against Rangers was a moment of madness from me.

“But you want to play as well as you can in every game – the fact I was sent off earlier in the season doesn’t add any real bearing to this game.

“I just want to try to play as well as I can and try to help us win the game.

“It was just stupid, getting sent off, and I took my punishment for that by missing three games.

“Thankfully I’m back in the team now and my aim is to try to stay in the team.

“My form since I have come back has been a bit better than before I missed the three games and I’m hopeful that can continue and I can keep improving.

“Maybe being out of the team did help me, but in all the time I’ve been at the club I’ve always tried to focus 100% on the job in hand. It will be like that for the rest of the season and hopefully I can just play as well as I can.”

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