GRAEME Murty revealed last night that his Rangers players had given a roar of approval in the Ibrox dressing room when they were drawn to face Celtic in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final.

Murty’s team booked their place in the last four of the national knockout competition with an emphatic 4-1 triumph over their Ladbrokes Championship opponents Falkirk at home yesterday.

The Govan club last beat their city rivals in the Scottish Cup semi-final two years ago - but they will go into the Premiership game with the Parkhead club at Ibrox on Sunday with hopes high of ending that disappointing run after six consecutive victories.

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Their manager feels their reaction to the cup draw shows how confident his charges are at the moment.

“The sound that came out of the changing-room when we were drawn against Celtic was vast,” he said. “The boys loved it. And that shows the mood they’re in, the positivity that’s going through the changing-room and the upturn in our mindset."

Jason Cummings, who scored a hat-trick yesterday, admitted the Rangers players had been delighted to get drawn against Celtic. “The boys are buzzing,” he said. “These are the games you want. We’re going to have to beat them to win the cup, so why not just make it the semi-final. The boys are confident just now and we can’t wait to play that.”

Brendan Rodgers, the Celtic manager, suggested that Rangers, who have a poor record at Ibrox this season, may struggle with the expectation on their shoulders next weekend.

But Murty, whose side will move to within three points of the defending Scottish champions, who have a game in hand, if they win, is pleased with his options and has refused to rule out their chances of challenging for the Ladbrokes Premiership.

“I heard about Brendan Rodgers’ comments," he said. "I think we’re always under pressure to perform at Ibrox, we have a very demanding clientele, our fans are used to players of the highest standard playing at the highest level, and we’re striving to get back to a level that’s worthy of that.

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“We’re not there yet but the next week will be a very measure of where we are on our journey and that’s what I’m going to take it as.

“I’ve only been there for two of them so I’m fully aware of the threat they pose. The mindset going into the ones at Parkhead were that we had to contain them at times, but not be afraid to play our football at times.

“I think it’s going to be the same for us here, albeit we might be a bit more aggressive in our selection or the way we’re going to play. I think you have to be respectful towards their difference-makers and their skill players, but you have to try and contain those guys and then not be afraid to unleash the guys that pose a threat for us.

“We had numerous opportunities to score through different means against Falkirk, that’s given us a real good base to go forward from. The number of chances we create is good for us albeit we will have to be better next weekend.”