Kilmarnock boss Derek McInnes not expecting Rangers to be affected by final loss

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Derek McInnes does not believes Rangers’ Viaplay Cup final disappointment will necessarily help Kilmarnock on their visit to Ibrox this weekend.

The Light Blues and their fans are suffering after losing 2-1 to Old Firm rivals Celtic at Hampden Park on Sunday.

It was Michael Beale’s first defeat as Gers boss after 15 games and the Govan side return to cinch Premiership duty against Killie hoping to keep pressure on the Hoops, who are nine points clear at the top of the table.

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Kilmarnock are second-bottom, four points ahead of Dundee United having played a game more, with boss McInnes admitting their away form in the league – with just two points from a possible 42 – has been “horrendous.”

Manager Derek McInnes during a Kilmarnock press conference at Rugby Park.Manager Derek McInnes during a Kilmarnock press conference at Rugby Park.
Manager Derek McInnes during a Kilmarnock press conference at Rugby Park.

Asked if the Old Firm defeat could have an affect on Rangers, McInnes, a former Gers midfielder, said: “I wouldn’t have thought so. It is a different competition, the nature of the club is they have to go again and that’s the way it is.

“There will be disappointment but Rangers have been pretty consistent, the statistics show that.

“Since Michael has come in they have had some good results and I expect Rangers to ask the questions of us, being at home, but I expect us to have the answers and hopefully deal with what’s coming and hopefully be good enough, use the experience we have had.

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“Rangers attacking threat as a team has probably improved. I don’t think you saw that at its best on Sunday because a lot of the time the attacking players were doing a lot of work out of possession, given the opponent.

“But Rangers have been showing more of an attacking threat of late and we are going to have to keep a lid on that.

“We should expect Rangers to come at us, we should expect Rangers to be good but we also have to expect that from ourselves.

“I want Rangers to come off the pitch having had a really tough afternoon.

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“It is a 90-plus minutes performance we need, 45 minutes doesn’t cut it at Ibrox.

“You have got to be on it for the majority of the game and that is tough when you are surrendering a lot of possession at times and the opposition are asking questions, but we know that if we do so many things right and play the game the way we want to play that we can also frustrate Rangers as well.”

McInnes noted that fellow strugglers Dundee United parted company with head coach Liam Fox following the damaging 4-0 defeat at Ross County on Saturday.

The former Tannadice skipper believes the disappointment is just part of life in modern-day management.

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McInnes said: “It is always disappointing when you see a manager leave.

“Obviously when it is a younger one as well, when they are first starting out. Liam has been part of a coaching staff two or three times and played a key role.

“He is always someone I found really willing and bright and he was put in that position and it was difficult for him, as it can be for all managers at different periods in the season.

“I saw his interview on Saturday and I felt for him and it is a by-product of the industry we are in.”