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Arthur's Column // 1st March 2023

I couldn't get away from Hampden Park quickly enough on Sunday evening. I felt low and empty. The Rangers team didn't produce the kind of performance I expected from them or wanted to see from them.

It just looked to me as though the players just didn't get going. Celtic had the bulk of possession and we couldn't get the ball back quickly enough.

When we did have it, our passing wasn't good enough and our decision making in the final third wasn't up the standard that it needed to be to win the Cup.

I said to fellow supporters at half-time that I wanted to see Michael Beale make at least one change, maybe two. Nicolas Raskin should have started the game but the manager had his reasons for leaving him on the bench. However, it was clear to see Celtic had control of the midfield area and we had to inject something different in there.

Ange Postecoglou's team scored just before half-time and that would have deflated us.

That's why it was even more important to bring a fresh spark into our engine-room.

But we didn't and we were two goals down after 56 minutes.

It still feels sore and I'm sure the players are hurting. Yet, inside Hampden before kick-off, I thought our supporters were in great voice and they were right behind the team.

It gave me extra confidence that we could win the Cup.

It wasn't to be, however, and now we need to keep going in the SPFL Premiership and make sure we retain the Scottish Cup.

We are the holders and should be within our capabilities to keep it that way. Any other outcome is unthinkable.So, the time is now for us all to put last weekend's defeat behind us and move forward as a unit and with optimism.

It was our first defeat of 2023 and we need to learn from it.

We still have many talented footballers in the team and they will need the backing of the supporters more than ever on Saturday at home to Kilmarnock.

It's important we get the three points and aim to go on an unbeaten run between now and the end of the season.


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