STEVEN Gerrard has strutted his stuff on some of the grandest stages the world game has to offer. Now he gets to sample the unique charms of Central Park, Cowdenbeath, first hand as Rangers attempt to get to grips with the Blue Brazil. So much talk has there been of this ramshackle little place and its stock car racing track since Rangers were paired with the Fifers in the William Hill Scottish Cup fourth round that Gerrard would be forgiven for feeling he was about to set foot upon one of the most hallowed arenas football has to offer. “I’ve heard more about this stadium than I did when I was on my way to the Nou Camp,” said Gerrard. “The cars usually start at ten to five on a Saturday, don’t they?”

Gerrard was part of an era where Premiership professionals became millionaires, but he is convincing when he insists that he has never lost touch with his roots. “Listen, I’m looking forward to the experience,” said Gerrard. “I’m a grassroots man, I grew up on muddy pitches. I’ve been changed in dressing rooms that were too small, on the grass outside and sometimes on the gravel in the car parks.

“All these things don’t matter, it’s a great fixture and we have respect for Cowdenbeath,” he added. “The stadium isn’t going to change so we have to be professional and do our jobs. We will have a fantastic support behind us, they are going there to see a strong Rangers team and that’s exactly what they’ll see. You’ll see from my selection just how much I want the job done. We need to forget who we’re playing, where we’re playing and go and produce a result and performance.”

Having said that, cup upsets, usually around this time of year, are quite simply part of the iconography of British football. Anyone who has been in the British game long enough will have been on the wrong end of one. Gerrard recalls the ignominy which would have followed a home defeat to Havant & Waterlooville when the non-leaguers twice won at Anfield, and grimaces at the memory of the 3-2 defeat an understrength Liverpool outfit suffered to Paul Dickov’s lower-league Oldham at Boundary Park in 2013. As he recalls, he was a substitute that day, coming on late enough only to help the big guns get a goal back and vainly mount a late rally. Who was the manager? A certain Brendan Rodgers. “I think I came off the bench in that one,” said Gerrard. “It was one of the coldest football matches I ever played in. That was the classic case of us, Liverpool, not turning up. The dressing rooms weren’t great, the pitch wasn’t great, one side of the stadium wasn’t there so it wasn’t as glamorous as Anfield and we got caught out.”

Upsets of this kind occur even less frequently in a Scottish context - although the Englishman recalls watching transfixed when Roy Keane’s debut for Gordon Strachan’s Celtic was spoiled by an eager Clyde side under Joe Miller and Graeme Roberts back in January 2006. Gerrard will involve his own much-vaunted new boys Steven Davis and Jermain Defoe against a Cowdenbeath side who are currently situated in the mid-table of Ladbrokes League Two, but were only saved from falling out of the senior leagues in each of the last two seasons by penalties.

“Look, I’ve been there as a player, I remember one game against Havant and Waterlooville,” said Gerrard. “I can’t remember how many divisions they were below us, but they came to Anfield and they were magnificent. I hope they don’t play like the Blue Brazil that’s for sure. But I expect Cowdenbeath to bring their best performance. Every single one of their players will be desperate to be involved and give a good account of themselves.”

“It’s not just this fixture coming up. We’ve seen it many times where that giant killing happens and we all know how it happens. It’s when you go in with that complacency and no respect for the opposition and you think you just have to turn up and get the result. If my players go in like that, there’s another giant killing on the cards. Cowdenbeath have got a chance in this fixture. Without a doubt. They will be wanting to write the headlines.

“It’s a fixture we just have to deal with and get the right result because I’m not sure it’s a fixture we can actually win. If we win we were meant to and if we don’t win by a huge margin we will have failed. That’s life. We totally respect Cowdenbeath and the facilities, it will be an experience taking my team there. All I am interested in is the result.”

Davis and Defoe have wasted little time settling in and are not the type to be too big for their boots. “They will both be involved at some stage,” said Gerrard. “Obviously Davo has been here before, he knew a lot of the staff and we have half the Northern Ireland team here now so it’s been easier for him. Jermain is a humble guy too, they both are.”

The road to Hampden has to start somewhere. “Do you want to play at a packed Hampden on a carpet with the chance to win a piece of silverware?” said Gerrard. “That’s the mentality the players should go in with.”