Steven Gerrard wants the “real” Rangers to show up for the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-final against Hearts at Tynecastle on Saturday.
The Light Blues boss was heavily critical of his side after they lost 2-1 away to the Jambos in the Ladbrokes Premiership near the end of January.
The surprise defeat dented their title hopes and afterwards Gerrard said: “Celtic were waiting for us to blink. Today we’ve blinked. Big time.”
Speaking at a press conference arranged before Rangers were drawn against Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16 of the Europa League with the first game at Ibrox, Gerrard said: “The only thing we have to prove is that the real Rangers are there for the challenge.
“I was pretty strong in my assessment of the last 90 minutes there, I didn’t recognise the performance.
“Hearts have beaten us once since we have been there.
“They are a good team, we respect them but more often than not we have gone there and shown the real Rangers and got the outcome we have wanted.
“So hopefully the real Rangers will turn up tomorrow and if we do I am confident we will be OK.
“We are looking for the level of consistency we had from the beginning of the season to the winter break.
“I think we have shown flashes, individual performances, that we can get back to that.
“But the idea from now until the end of the season is to find that consistency and if we do I believe we can have an exciting end to the season.
“If we don’t and we continue to change our standards from game to game we will find some issues and complications like we have done.”
Gerrard, who revealed there is an outside chance that veteran striker Jermain Defoe could return from a calf injury, believes his side should be buoyed by the home and away wins over Braga in the Europa League.
Rangers’ 1-0 victory in Portugal on Thursday night ensured a 4-2 aggregate win and a morale-boosting entry into the last 16.
The former Liverpool and England captain said: “It should do because we have come through two big challenges as a group.
“Braga in both legs were a very dangerous team, top quality individual players and they have a real interesting way of playing and they have a lot of domestic success by doing that, by winning a cup final and moving from mid-table to third and beating all the top opposition in their league home and away.
“So to come through both ties the way we have, the players should take confidence and belief.
“But you know and I know that Hearts will pose a different type of challenge in a different environment and we need to make sure that we are recovered physically and mentally for that test.”
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