Motherwell set for Rangers trip

  • Last Updated: September 3 2012, 16:39 BST

Motherwell will be the first top-flight opponents for Rangers since they were relaunched in the Irn-Bru Third Division after the teams were paired together in the Scottish Communities League Cup.

Ally McCoist's side will host Motherwell

  • Related Content

The Clydesdale Bank Premier League leaders will visit Ibrox on September 25-26 in the third round.

Celtic were drawn out just before Rangers, at home against Raith Rovers, the team that shocked them in the 1994-1995 final.

Rangers have beaten East Fife and Falkirk on their way to the third round with Motherwell entering at this stage along with their fellow European qualifiers.

The seeded draw paired the eight SPL teams remaining in the tournament with lower-league clubs.

Queen of the South have another home tie, against Dundee United, after beating Hibernian at Palmerston.

Stenhousemuir have been rewarded for beating holders Kilmarnock with a home game against Inverness.

Queen's Park, conquerors of Dundee, face another Tayside club in St Johnstone while Hearts have a home clash against Livingston.

St Mirren host Hamilton while Aberdeen face a trip to Fife to take on Dunfermline.

Simon Ramsden was thrilled to see Motherwell paired with Rangers after resigning himself to the fact he would not have a chance to play at Ibrox this season.

The defender and his family are Sunderland fans but have also followed the results of the Light Blues since both clubs faced each other when he was a child.

The 30-year-old joined the Steelmen in the summer, when Rangers were consigned to liquidation and voted into the Irn-Bru Third Division after losing their status as a top-flight club.

Ramsden is now relishing the prospect of a bonus trip to Govan after all for the third round tie.

"When I signed here, I was well aware that I wouldn't be playing at Ibrox this season," he said.

"I was looking forward to the big games, like when we play Celtic, when we played Panathinaikos in the Champions League.

"From a personal point of view, I'm very excited. As a player, you want to test yourself at grounds like Ibrox and Parkhead.

"It's something I'm looking forward to and I'm sure the club and the fans are as well."

He added: "We are all Sunderland fans in my family and Sunderland played Rangers when I was a kid and we have just followed the results since then.

"I've been to a couple of Old Firm games so it will be nice to go out there and sample the game side of things rather than just sitting in the stand sampling the atmosphere.

"I haven't checked my phone yet but no doubt I'll have quite a few wanting to come up for this one."

However, Ramsden is well aware that Motherwell have been drawn against the toughest of the unseeded teams and that may prove to be bad news for their hopes of progressing in the competition.

"That's the other side to it. We know if we want to go as far as we can in the competition, there would have been easier draws," he said.

"But that's the way it goes. We've drawn Rangers now and it's a game that we need to prepare for because it's going to be a tough ask.

"Their home form has been very good this season. Even though they are a few divisions below us, the squad and the players they have brought in are very good.

"We are under no illusions, we are going to be in for a tough task on the night.

"After what has happened, they will be well up for this and will want to prove a point.

"We will need to be aware of that so we will be going there and trying to do as well as we can."

With Motherwell sitting top of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and Rangers playing their football in the bottom tier, the issue of favourites ahead of the tie is a tricky one to determine.

Ramsden said: "The strange thing about this game is, in previous seasons, we would have been seen as the massive underdogs.

"It's sort of swung around a little bit and we're the SPL side now so maybe the onus might be on us.

"We will be going there very positive and hopefully we'll get through to the next round."

Meanwhile, Rangers youngster Kane Hemmings sees no reason why Ally McCoist's men should be daunted by the cup tie thanks to the quality within their ranks.

The forward said: "It's a decent draw. Motherwell are a good team and they are leaders of the SPL at the moment.

"But, if you look at our club, we still have some of the best players in Scotland so I think we have to be positive going into the game.

"I don't know if we will be favourites or not but we will still be positive.

"We know the strengths we've got in the squad so I don't see why we can't get a result."