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Rangers will park Europa League disappointment to focus on cup – Scott Arfield

Rangers Training and Press Conference – UEFA Europa League – Final – Estadio Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Scott Arfield is adamant Rangers will be able to park their Europa League disappointment and go into Saturday’s Scottish Cup final against Hearts with a positive mindset.

The Ibrox club suffered heartache in Seville on Wednesday after losing on penalties to Eintracht Frankfurt.

It remains to be seen how Rangers will cope, both mentally and physically, with having another big game so soon after their Europa woe, but Arfield insists his team are fully focused on ending the season with silverware at Hampden.

“Obviously, on Wednesday night, you think about the pure disappointment and what you went through, but you quickly get over it because it is a cup final and, as a team, we feel we can go and win,” said the midfielder.

“There’s no doubt about it, after the game, you think about it, but on Thursday you are travelling back and it is forgotten about because we have a massive game.

“It is all about being positive now. We will give Hearts the utmost respect they deserve. It’s been an absolutely tremendous season from them, so we know it is going to be a difficult game for us.

“If we still have a hangover from Wednesday night, it is going to be a difficult game, no doubt.”

Arfield feels the onus is on every Rangers player to ensure lingering negativity from midweek does not impact their performance this weekend.

“Football is a collective team sport, of course, but it is run by individuals,” he said.

“So if an individual is down in the dumps and not positive, it takes a hold on the collective.

“So I think everyone needs to make sure they are alright and then drum the message into the collective group to go again.

“We have a massive opportunity to put Wednesday night out of sight. Obviously, the disappointment will hold, but now we have an opportunity to get silverware before the end of the season.”

Hearts have failed to beat Rangers in the league this term, but Arfield expects them to be a tough nut to crack.

“It’s a one-off game and, whatever has gone before and the games we have had previously with them, it will have no bearing on this,” he said.

“We played them last week and they had three or four first-team players out, as did we. So I think it will be a different game at Hampden.

“As I’ve said, they’ve had a fantastic season getting to a cup final and finishing third by some distance.

“They are in our thoughts. We have done our analysis on them all season and we will give them the respect they definitely deserve.

“The have a great management team, good players, can score, so we know it is going to be difficult.

“But, as always, we feel as though we can win any game and this one is no different.”

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