Falkirk co-manager David McCracken has admitted that he isn’t surprised how far Rangers have come under Steven Gerrard as he hailed the Light Blues ahead of Sunday’s League Cup clash at the Falkirk Stadium.

McCracken was part of the last Falkirk side to beat Rangers, doing so twice as the Bairns finished runners-up to Mark Warburton’s Championship-winning side five years ago but thinks Gerrard is now reaping the rewards of the work done in the early part of his tenure.

Falkirk v Hearts - William Hill Scottish Cup Fifth Round

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“It doesn’t surprise me how far they’ve come, McCracken said, speaking to Not The Old Firm. “With Gerrard coming in, he’s laid the foundations initially and now they are starting to reap the benefits this year.

“They are playing some great football. There is an understanding there. The players know exactly what’s expected of them.”

With Rangers travelling to Falkirk in between Europa League fixtures against Benfica and Standard Liege, McCracken is hoping that the Ibrox side will be “distracted” by their more illustrious opposition in Europe.

Despite the gulf between the sides – Falkirk are currently top of League One – McCracken hopes the experience of players like Mo Gomis, Blair Alston, Connor Sammon and his co-manager Lee Miller can help guide the Bairns to a shock win over the Gers.

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“Absolutely we’re hoping they’ll be distracted,” he added. “They’ve obviously got big games right now. Looking at the Europa League match with Benfica and some big games in the league there might possibly be changes to their team.

 

“There might not be but we’ll still prep as we would normally do. This is an opportunity for the boys to enjoy.

“I wouldn’t say it was daunting. We’re trying to reiterate that to the boys. It’s a big game and a great opportunity to play against the standard of player Rangers have.

“But we’ve been there before. Lee, myself and a few other boys in the team have experienced wins over Rangers and we know it’s achievable to get a result

“At the same time, you’ve got to respect the standard Rangers are playing at.

“They’re without doubt the in-form team in the country and whether or not they make changes after the Benfica game, it’s still going to be a high standard of player facing us on Sunday.”

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