St Johnstone’s Liam Craig clipped Rangers’ wings on Wednesday night – but the Perth ace admits his side must reach even higher heights to record a shock Scottish Cup win on Sunday.
Craig slotted home a last-gasp penalty as Callum Davidson’s men claimed a deserved 1-1 draw against the new Scottish Premiership champions.
But it was largely a second-string Gers line-up, with Steven Gerrard making seven changes to the team which dumped Celtic out of the competition last weekend.
The Ibrox boss is now set to recall key men like Joe Aribo, Ryan Kent and Alfredo Morelos for Sunday’s rematch as the teams do it all over again for a place in the semi-finals.
And Craig admits the Betfred Cup winners will have to soar higher again if they are to complete another successful bid to reach Hampden.
“I don’t think Wednesday’s result will do much to Rangers,” said the Saints midfielder. “They showed how strong their squad is with the changes they made.
“You look over when they’re making subs and it’s Aribo coming on. Morelos and Kent are still in the stand.
“I said in the build-up to Wednesday that it would be two totally different games. I stand by that.
“It’s never easy going to Ibrox. They have only lost one game domestically.
“Sunday is a totally different game, different venue and I’d imagine changes in both teams.
“What Rangers have shown this season is a consistency, confidence and belief to do well week in, week out.
“When they haven’t been at their best they still find ways to get wins and points.
“We did well on Wednesday but we know we’ll need to be even better at the weekend to get through to the semi-final.”
Craig’s equaliser three minutes into second-half stoppage time not only handed Davidson’s team a boost ahead of Sunday’s rematch but also secured a valuable result which sees the McDiarmid men trim Livingston’s lead in the race for a potential European slot back to three points.
“From the split we have wanted to finish fifth,” said Craig. “We still have an opportunity to do that so the point was huge.
“It was never going to be a case of us being happy with just getting top six.
“We want to finish as strong as we can and make this a really memorable season. We’re on course to do that.
“There is still a long way to go. We still need to go to Easter Road, Celtic Park and play Livingston.
“But we showed on Wednesday and over the course of the season that we’re good enough to compete.”