Ahead of Rangers’ Scottish Cup fixture against Cowdenbeath, there was great interest in the team selection.

Against a lower league opposition, would Gerrard be ruthless or give game time to fringe players?

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

When the starting XI was released an hour before kick-off, it’s fair to say not everybody was happy. 

There were eight changes from the side that defeated Livingston on Sunday.

The formation was also altered, with Gerrard opting for two strikers.

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Amongst those given opportunities, were Wes Foderingham, Jon Flanagan and Lassana Coulibaly, none of whom had featured since before the winter break.

Foderingham has dropped down to backup keeper since the arrival of Allan McGregor. (Photo by Lynne Cameron/Getty Images)

The only three players who retained their places, were Nikola Katic, Ryan Jack and Daniel Candeias.

Reading into those selections, Gerrard may have shown the fans who his main man is for 2019.

 

Old Firm hero, Jack.

The retentions of Candeias and Katic looked to be simply a reward for their weekend performances, after Gerrard had left them out against Killie.

However, the selection of the ex-Aberdeen skipper was different.

Jack celebrates his second goal of the season against Livi. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

He became the only player to start every match since the winter break.

Even the captain, James Tavernier, got the night off.

Yet, Gerrard clearly felt he couldn’t go into the tie without the safety blanket of Jack in front of the back four.

That’s an indication of just how important the 26-year-old is for the run in.

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