BERT Konterman, the former Rangers defender, believes Mark Warburton can lead the Ibrox side to William Hill Scottish Cup glory this year. The 45-year-old Dutchman, scorer of a famous winning goal in the 2002 League Cup semi-final against Celtic, has been impressed by the Englishman ever since hearing the then Brentford manager address his Pro Licence course at the Hampden Park auditorium, and feels the Ibrox side have every chance of lifting the first national cup since the financial storm which led to the club being relaunched in the third division. Warburton's side face Kilmarnock in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup at Ibrox on Saturday, having gone down 3-1 to St Johnstone in the League Cup in September on their only other meeting with Premiership opponents.

"Yes, why not?" said Konterman, now a youth coach at FC Twente. "I think it is possible. When you see the football they play, and if the opponent has a bad day, then you can win the Scottish Cup. The distance really is not that far. Rangers and Hibs are superb in the Championship, so compared with the rest of the Premier League it is absolutely possible."

While Celtic have slipped up at various points in the cup competitions in recent seasons, including last weekend's 3-1 defeat to Ross County, in all likelihood any route which takes Rangers to Scottish Cup glory will still have to go through the Parkhead side. They face Lowland League minnows East Kilbride in Airdrie on Sunday, but Konterman reckons Rangers are better equipped to take their ancestral rivals on this year than they were 12 months previously, when they went down 2-0 in the League Cup semi-final at Hampden last February. Konterman, doing commentary on that match for Dutch TV alongside Jimmy Calderwood, took a dim view of proceedings.

"The team I saw last year was not playing for the win, they were only trying to avoid a goal against, and that is what irritated Jimmy and me," said Konterman. "We want to see a fight from Rangers against Celtic, because sometimes their combination football was better than Celtic's. But Celtic killed every situation, and every mistake from Rangers led to a goal.

"The intention of Rangers was not to win that match, in Jimmy's and my opinion," he added. "But what I see now is an attacking Rangers side, with combinations, which tries to put the opposition under pressure and I think that is the way to beat Celtic and other teams as well. Go with your vision, the players know the way it works, they train every day with that vision, the manager tells them that, and if you do that in the big games it gives you confidence. Then you are a leader."