Aug 24 2012 by Andrew Burns, Dumfries Standard Friday
QUEEN of the South will face Rangers at Ibrox in the last eight of the Ramsdens Cup.
Allan Johnston’s men will square off against the Glasgow giants next month – bringing a huge financial windfall to the Palmerston club.
The gate money will be split 50-50 between the two teams, which could see Queens pocket a staggering £100,000.
And Doonhamers boss Johnston insists he is relishing the challenge of squaring up against his former club.
He told the Standard: “It’s a great draw for Queen of the South. It will be a big challenge for us but I am delighted.
“It’s a brilliant opportunity for our young players to test themselves up against a top side. And it gives them a chance to play at Ibrox which is something a lot of players will never be able to do.
“The boys deserve this opportunity because they have worked hard to get to this stage of the cup.
“There’s also the financial aspect of a game like this which will be hugely beneficial to the club.”
Rangers, playing in the Ramsdens Cup for the first time, defeated holders Falkirk 1-0 on Tuesday to reach the last eight.
Both of Queens’ management duo have a history with Rangers, with player-boss Johnston enjoying a 15-month stint at Ibrox between 2000 and 2001.
Assistant Sandy Clark spent almost two seasons with Rangers and was a hugely popular striker, scoring 22 goals in just over 60 appearances.
Johnston added: “It will be great to take the team to Ibrox, especially given that myself and Sandy both spent time at Rangers as players.
“That wasn’t on my mind but it will no doubt come up over the next couple of weeks.
“I am positive it will be something the fans will be looking forward to.
“It’s always a great atmosphere at Ibrox and I have no doubt the Queens fans will travel to Glasgow in their numbers to support us.”
Ally McCoist’s team will undoubtedly prove a handful for Queens, with Rangers having retained a number of players from last season’s SPL side.
On top of that, the Ibrox boss has signed a host of top names, including former Hearts midfielder Ian Black, ex-St Johnstone hitman Francisco Sandaza and Northern Ireland star Dean Shiels.
The date of the cup fixture has yet to be confirmed, although it was initially noted this week that it would be on Sunday, September 9.
However, with Rangers set to have a host of players on international duty that weekend, the game would have to be moved.
Ahead of the glamour clash, Johnston also believes that will be further motivation for his players ahead of the next few games.
He said: “The boys will be desperate to play at Ibrox against Rangers in front of tens of thousands of fans.
“It’s always an extra motivation although our boys have plenty of that already.
“But the chance of playing in a high-profile game is always a nice carrot to dangle.”