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Daniel Stendel urges Hearts to seek cup glory ahead of Rangers quarter-final

Hearts manager Daniel Stendel has told his team to aim for cup glory and bring some positivity back to the club after the prospect of relegation became even more real.

St Mirren’s late win at Motherwell on Tuesday left Hearts six points adrift of guaranteed safety in the Ladbrokes Premiership after their previous game, a 2-2 home draw with 10-man Hamilton, kept them bottom of the table.

Rangers are the only Premiership team Stendel has tasted victory against in 11 league matches in charge and they visit Tynecastle again in the William Hill Scottish Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

Stendel expects Rangers to be more wary following their 2-1 defeat in January but he sees no reason why Hearts cannot beat them again – and go all the way in the competition.

The German said: “I think Rangers will be more focused for this game – the cup is a good chance for everyone to win a trophy, and especially after the first game.

“But for us it’s important that we know we can win, that we play at Tynecastle, that we have the support that we need against Rangers.

“The game will not change our situation in the league but it can give us a lift for the next couple of games, especially after Tuesday night we all know we have no time for better results – we need better results. We want to start on Saturday.

“It’s a big chance to have positive thoughts in our head for everything we can do in the season.

“The league has not given us much positive thoughts but the cup is a big chance. There are three games left and if we can win, then we can maybe play next year in the Europa League.

“It’s a good chance but we are focused on this game. Rangers are one of the biggest teams but we beat Rangers a few weeks ago and why not again?”

When asked if he thought Hearts were capable of winning the tournament, the former Barnsley boss said: “Why not? Yes.”