Ally McCoist is adamant that he and his players take the competition as seriously as any other they are involved in this season, even if winning the SPFL League 1 title will remain the priority.
A trip to face Stenhousemuir in the semi-final tonight should not create anxiety, since Rangers comfortably swept their opponents aside 8-0 at Ibrox in the league earlier in the season. Raith Rovers already await in the final, but McCoist is wary of complacency. The semi-final is a typical assignment for Rangers this season; since they are expected to win, there will be few plaudits to them for doing that, but a defeat would draw criticism.
McCoist is aware of the pitfalls, and he identifies the venue, with its artificial surface, and the mood of the Stenhousemuir players as possible factors. Rangers should, of course, win the tie, but their recent 4-3 victory over Brechin City, when they came back from being 3-1 down, was a reminder difficulties can still lie in wait despite the resources that are vastly in favour of the Ibrox side.
"Without being disrespectful to the opposition, when we come up against Stenhousemuir or Airdrie in cup games it's more about what we do," McCoist said. "You do your homework, but if we perform to the best of our ability then we should win the game. If you play teams of a higher standard in the top flight then maybe you can change your shape. But I believe, in games against the opposition we currently face, it's more to do with our approach than the opposition's.
"We want to win [the Ramsdens Cup], absolutely. It gives the players the opportunity to get their first cup final, for the vast majority of them, so that's something not to be scoffed at. We were beaten last year by the winners and that was really disappointing. The [semi-final] will bring different problems, in the respect that the vast majority of people outwith Rangers and probably Stenhousemuir would be expecting a Rangers win. So that's something that we have to guard against. We won't allow the players to think like that. I'd rather it was at our place. There's the potential for us to slip up and we have to guard against that."
Cammy Bell, the Rangers goalkeeper, is less concerned by the surface, having played on it earlier in his career during a loan spell at Montrose. In his first season at Ibrox, Bell is aware of the need to live up to demand from the club's fans to be successful each season. Reaching the Ramsdens Cup final would provide a fillip of sorts, but he is also wary of taking progress for granted.
"Every piece of silverware, we want to win," he said. "It'll be a difficult game for us against Stenny so we need to treat it right and be focused. We need to show them respect. We know they can pose a threat and we'll do our homework on them again before the tie. It'll be a tough game in a different environment for us. Everyone expects us to win every time we play and this game is no different. That's really hard.
"This is a club which places demands on its players and I place those demands on myself as well. The other players are the same and we're all together in that we want to win. We're expected to win every time in the league we're in but one thing I've noticed about our opponents is that their work-rate has been first class so we've got to match that - then our ability can take us where we want to go."
Games tend to be a welcome distraction for McCoist, since the Ibrox club remains beset by boardroom issues. There remain only two directors of Rangers International Football Club - James Easdale and Brian Stockbridge - and the nominated adviser, Daniel Stewart, which manages Rangers' listing on the Alternative Investment Market has been seeking a consensus among shareholders to add new directors to the business.
Dave King flew into Scotland for three days last Friday, and held several meetings with the key individuals around the situation. He then flew to London on Sunday for further scheduled discussions in his attempt to find a way to a solution to the saga. McCoist, though, can only wait to see if there will be an outcome.
"I saw [King] briefly at the game [against East Fife on Saturday]," said the Rangers manager. "We exchanged pleasantries and we were talking about the match for a couple of minutes. He said he was impressed with the boys in the second half and that was encouraging.
"I haven't had a chance to talk to him in great detail, but effectively it's none of my business until such time as it should be and will be. Until someone makes it my business I wouldn't comment on it."