Football: Advocaat's settled side

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THE RANGERS manager, Dick Advocaat, has dismissed reports linking the former Celtic striker Pierre van Hooijdonk and the Brazilian winger Denilson with a move to the Premier League leaders.

Advocaat watched his side struggle to find top form in a 2-0 victory over a brave Stenhousemuir side in the Tennents Scottish Cup on Saturday. Then he took the opportunity to insist that rumours linking Nottingham's Forest striker Van Hooijdonk and Real Betis's Denilson were just speculation. The Dutchman said: "There's no truth at all. We will continue throughout the rest of the season with this squad. I am happy with the players I have got."

Despite Rangers' mid-season break in America, they looked a tired outfit against Terry Christie's brave Warriors. Had Adrian Sprott's third-minute shot gone in instead of hitting the upright, a sensational result could have been a possibility. But first-half goals from Stephane Guivarc'h and Rod Wallace sealed Rangers' place in the fourth round.

Kilmarnock's manager, Bobby Williamson, arrived at Somerset Park on Saturday keen to erase the memory of last year's 2-0 Cup defeat by their neighbours, Ayr United. However, Killie went down 3-0.

This time round, it was arguably an even bigger upset. Ayr have been in impressive form in the First Division, but the Rugby Park side have been near the top of the Premier League all season. However, Ayr made a nonsense of that as a first-half strike from Andy Lyons and two Andy Walker penalties knocked the stuffing out of Williamson's men.

To compound Killie's misery, their captain Ray Montgomerie was sent off for hauling down Glyn Hurst in the build-up to Ayr's first spot-kick.

There was an even bigger shock at Pittodrie, where Second Division Livingston beat troubled Aberdeen 1-0 thanks to a strike from the former Hearts man John Robertson.

The other upset was at Cappielow, where Billy Stark's Morton beat Jocky Scott's Dundee 2-1. Owen Archdeacon put the First Division side one up with an excellent drive, and Ross Matheson made it two soon afterwards. Eddie Annand's 42nd-minute goal was scant consolation for the Dens Park side.

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