The buffed up Petrofac Training Cup or Mark Hateley's earring. The Englishman's old club, Rangers, certainly dazzled earlier this week as they doled out an 8-1 thumping to Clyde to book a quarter-final place in the competition that they were runners-up in last season.
Loading article content
At yesterday's draw for the last eight - enthusiastically dubbed the "super eight" - the Ibrox side were pitted against East Fife at New Bayview early next month. The current situation Rangers find themselves in is a far cry from those glory-laden years when Hateley was banging them in, but 8-1 wins are, well, 8-1 wins and the purposeful Petrofac performance provided plenty of promise in the eyes of their former hit man.
"I think the Rangers performance was nevertheless important because it gets the confidence going and I think they found the one thing they have been lacking this season and that's aggression with or without the ball," said Hateley of a match in which Kris Boyd got on the score sheet for the first time this season with a hat trick and Nicky Clark put in another decent shift in the place of the injured Kenny Miller.
"I don't think a lack of goals before Monday would have bothered Kris. The worrying thing for me was the lack of service and that all comes from confidence and trying to be aggressive. Nicky [Clark] will always come to feet and he is that youthful runner who will make runs even if there is nothing at the end of it whereas Kenny [Miller] is more experienced and will choose when to make the runs. That's what keeps defenders on their toes."
Rangers were the big fish in the Petrofac pool and the East Fife manager, Gary Naysmith, was delighted that it was his side that netted them. "I was just wanting a home draw to be honest," said Naysmith, whose Methil men have been travelling up hill and down dale over the past couple of weeks with long treks to Elgin, Stranraer and Brora on league and cup duties.
Livingston were the other big winners this week with a 4-1 defeat of Hearts and they will now face a hike north for a meeting with Peterhead. Raith Rovers upset the odds in this very competition last year by beating Rangers in the final and Mark Burchill, the Livingston assistant manager, is well aware of the inspiring qualities of that particular tale. "That was part of the team talk against Hearts; let's go out and do a Raith this year," he said.
The remaining quarter-final fixtures will see Morton host Alloa and Stranraer take on Falkirk.
Petrofac Training Cup Quarter-final draw
Morton v Alloa Athletic
Stranraer v Falkirk
East Fife v Rangers
Peterhead v Livingston
Ties to be played on Saturday September 6