Kilmarnock's 'big' scorer Sammon main threat to cup hope for Gers

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The Independent Football

Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist has targeted Conor Sammon as Kilmarnock's danger man in next Monday night's Scottish Cup fourth-round meeting at Ibrox.

The Light Blues are still smarting from their Premier League defeat at home to Celtic on Sunday which put a dent in their title aspirations and face a buoyant Killie side who have taken 23 points from their last available 30.

McCoist believes Sammon, 24, who scored twice in a 3-2 SPL defeat to Rangers at Rugby Park earlier in the season on his way to a current tally of 15, can scupper Rangers' cup hopes.

"Kilmarnock now have a new confidence about them and they look as if they are capable of scoring goals," he said. "They have always been solid at the back and Manuel Pascali, Frazer Wright and boys like that are no nonsense defenders. They also have a good keeper but the one thing they have going for them is they look capable of scoring against any opposition.

"Sammon has been one of the players of the season and it's important that all successful teams have a recognised goalscorer.

"We are lucky enough to have Kenny Miller at the moment and he has been banging in all sorts of goals. That's been a massive bonus for us. Kilmarnock, in previous years, were always strong defensively but you could maybe criticise them a little bit for not having an out-and-out goalscorer. This season they certainly look as if they have that in Sammon."

In the wake of the Old Firm defeat, and in view of Killie's form, an exciting cup tie at Ibrox is expected and McCoist is anticipating a tough night.

"It's a tough draw for us," he said. "Kilmarnock are one of the teams of the season and playing very well. They got a well-deserved draw at Celtic Park recently and made it very difficult for us in November.

You could argue we were a little fortunate to beat them 3-2. Mixu Paatelainen's got them playing well, playing football and playing from the back. They have the big lad up front [Sammon] who is having a bit of a purple patch at the moment but we will always be confident.

"It's a home tie and that's all we can ask for, albeit a Monday night is a strange one. I don't remember many Monday nights at Ibrox but we are looking forward to it."