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Gerrard demands response to shock Rangers loss

Stunned: Rangers (pic: SNS Group)

St Mirren 3 Rangers 2
St Mirren Park

Steven Gerrard accepted the blame for Rangers losing their 27-game unbeaten run – and urged his players not to let the shock defeat derail their season.

The runaway Premiership leaders have been in imperious form so far this season, coming into the cup-tie on the back of 10 consecutive wins on the domestic front.

The home side’s stunning win sees Gerrard’s wait for a first trophy continue, a last-minute goal from Conor McCarthy sending Saints marching into the semi-finals, where they will face Livingston, who beat Ross County.

“I’ll demand that we react in the right way. I’m bitterly disappointed because it’s an opportunity missed,” said the Ibrox boss after his first defeat of the season.

“We can’t allow the disappointment to spiral. At the moment emotions are running high, after a setback like this. But you have a choice in these situations. And you find out a lot about the group, about players.

“I know what I’ll be doing. I’ll be trying to react in a positive way. Of course, it will sting. It will hurt. But it’s my job to pick them up and make sure they go again.”

The Englishman added: “To call it a crazy night would be respectful to us. Look, we haven’t performed well and I’m responsible for that. I made all the decision, the tactical and personnel, I tweaked certain things.

“This is one where I’ll take the blame, I’m responsible for it all – because the players have been absolutely first class since the first day of pre-season.

It will sting. It will hurt. But it’s my job to pick them up and make sure they go again.” – Steven Gerrard.

“We’ve had an awful lot of praise as a group, defensively and offensively. To concede the three goals in the manner that we did is obviously disappointing. I’m responsible for it so we have to take what’s going to come our way.”

Victorious St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin, who was shown a red card amid the celebrations which greeted the late winner, said: “I am not saying we are going to win the cup but we genuinely believe we can. I always believe we are capable of winning anything, otherwise what is the point in playing?

“We had to get the tactics and the system right and the players had to believe in what I was asking them to do.”

Hibs will take on St Johnstone in the other semi-final.

St Mirren: Alnwick, Fraser, McCarthy, Shaughnessy, Tait, Connolly (McPherson, 82), McGrath, Doyle-Hayes, Erhahon, Mason, Obika (Erwin).

Rangers: McGregor, Tavernier, Goldson, Balogun (Hagi, 84), Bassey (Barisic, 57), Arfield (Davis, 57), Zungu (Kamara, 72), Aribo, Roofe, Itten (Defoe, 72), Kent.

Goals: St Mirren – McGrath (pen 40, 53), McCarthy (90). Rangers – Goldson (7), Davis (88).

Watchdog investigation into replica kits

An investigation over the price of replica kits has been launched into Rangers and the club’s sportswear retailers.

The Competition and Markets Authority has confirmed it has opened an initial inquiry into potential “anti-competitive behaviour”.

It said it is probing Rangers and Hummel, the previous manufacturers of the club’s kit, as well as retailers Greaves Sports and JD Sports.

The investigation will look into suspected breaches of competition law, in a process which is expected to take six months.

The regulator said: “At this stage the CMA believes that it has reasonable grounds to suspect one or more breaches of competition law.

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