Thomson insists Gers still focused

Midfielder says cup success shows players are unaffected by club's off-field problems

Kevin Thomson believes Rangers' Co-operative Insurance Cup win at Dundee shows the players remain unaffected by events behind the scenes. And the midfielder insists they will continue to produce the goods on the pitch, regardless of what is happening off it, as they prepare for massive games both domestically and in Europe.

Rangers' plight has dominated the headlines since Walter Smith's revelations at the weekend that the club is now effectively being run by Lloyds Banking Group – claims which have since been refuted by the bank.

Speculation over a potential takeover also continues to mount, with Rangers confirming they have received "tentative enquiries" regarding the sale of the club but no firm offers. But, as far as Thomson is concerned, the players still have a job to do and demonstrated their ability to put everything else to one side as they returned to winning ways with a 3-1 win in Tayside last night.

"The whole thing surrounding the club is behind the scenes at the moment," he said. "We are the players and we need to do what is right on the park, that's what we are paid to do. The 25 or so boys at the club will continue to do so.

"Some boys will read the papers and some boys won't. We are not silly wee boys, we know what's going on, but it doesn't affect the players.

"We still have a job to do; that's what we get paid for and I think we have shown there is still hunger within the dressing room, regardless of what is going on behind the scenes."

Smith also spoke of his players "being up for sale since January" after Saturday's 1-1 SPL draw against Hibernian before a statement on the club's official website the following day claimed there was no need to sell assets during the January transfer window.

"That's football," added Thomson. "Players move on and players come in and managers move on. We've got a great manager and a great set of boys and, at the moment there is no transfer window, so none of us are going anywhere in the near future. We look forward to keeping on getting performances on the park."

Rangers booked their place in the last four of the League Cup despite a plucky performance from First Division leaders Dundee.

Steven Whittaker handed last year's finalists an early lead before Leigh Griffiths notched up his 12th goal of the season to haul the home side level.

Jocky Scott's men then squandered more than one chance before an own-goal from Gary MacKenzie put Rangers back in the driving seat. And any hopes of a comeback were dashed when teenager John Fleck put the tie beyond doubt with five minutes to go to ensure a difficult few days ended on a high for Smith's men.

The team had a youthful look to it, with Danny Wilson and Jordan McMillan making their competitive debuts and Thomson believes the future looks bright for Rangers in terms of homegrown talent.

"The young boys are exceptional," he said. "A lot of people go on about Murray Park and having a £14m complex and say we don't produce young boys. But look at Allan McGregor, Alan Hutton, Charlie Adam, Steven Smith – there are plenty of boys who have come through the ranks. Now we have a fresh batch and I thought Danny Wilson and Jordan McMillan acquitted themselves fantastically and did really well. Cup ties like this are tough for any player, never mind a young boy making his debut.

"So I was delighted for them and fingers crossed they can get a wee run in the team."

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