New Rangers man is relishing the ‘right to dream’ as pundit offers ‘not robots’ claim after Celtic’s victory
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Glasgow giants Rangers and Celtic secured their place in the Scottish Cup quarter-final with comfortable 2-0 victories over Ayr United and St Mirren respectively.
The two sides are dreaming of success and are now targeting a place in the last four of the competition. Defending champions Celtic have been given a home tie against Premiership strugglers Livingston, while fellow challengers Rangers will make a trip to the capital to take on 2016 winners Hibs at Easter Road.
Philippe Clement’s side have already tasted success in the League Cup this season and one man looking to add to that winning mentality is January signing Mohamed Diomande.
The 22-year-old is a product of the highly esteemed Right to Dream football academy in Africa and has already achieved one of his childhood ambitions by making his Ibrox debut in front of 45,000 fans.
Diomande was described by Danish football experts as one of the most valuable prospects in the division and the £4.5m man will now look to back up those claims in Glasgow.
Speaking after the game, Diomande expressed his delight at making his full home debut and claims he is running on excitement as he aims to help the team to more silverware.
He told Daily Record reporters: “The gaffer and the lads have already done well, winning one trophy. But I am not going to talk about anything because I have just joined. We can only win trophies if we win our next games so the next game is the most important one for me. We will see what happens in the future.
“On Monday, we will start gearing up for the Ross County game. We don’t care what happens in the table now, our focus is to make ourselves strong and we will see what happens.”
Diomande explained that moving to Scotland is a huge transition for him, adding that the huge support he has been given has given him the adrenaline to push himself in a Rangers shirt.
He explained: “In Nordsjaelland we would have 5000 or 6000 spectators. Coming here is a massive transition. But it will give me the adrenaline to push myself because I know there are people behind me who are supporting me and cheering me.”
He also commented on the overhead kick effort that was cleared off the line and his determination to get off the mark for Rangers.
“I can play anywhere in the middle – so I can play No.6, No.8 and No.10 also. I just use my opportunity to help the team. Wherever the manager plays me, I am just going to try and do my best for the team.
“My position is No 8, but I can play anywhere in the middle. Saturday was tough for me, but it was good for me to play some minutes. The overhead kick? Yeah, I thought that was going in! But I hope that in the next game I am going to score.”
Alexandro Bernabei’s performance lauded as pundit makes ‘not robots’ claim about Celtic
Former Celtic midfielder Peter Grant has lauded for his role in the team’s second goal against St Mirren.
The Hoops secured their place in the last eight in fine fashion as Daizen Maeda added a second after an opener from Kyogo Furuhashi.
Speaking as he analysed the move in the lead up to the second goal on Sportscene, Grant said: "I thought he [Maeda] should have scored in the first half. I know people are saying he got across the front well but I felt he should have scored with it. Bernabei does well. He does the overlap instead of the underlap. Maeda is in the box like all good wide players should be. Matt will be quite disappointed. But the Bernabei run here takes the defender deeper and allows Palma to cross the ball in. You can see the boys arriving. Matt, as I say, would usually hit the back of the net but great reactions from Maeda. I thought he should have scored in the first half but he finished it remarkably well."
The pair went on to discuss Celtic’s consistency in the title race under Brendan Rodgers and the way that Rangers have been able to fight their way back into the title race despite a huge deficit.
Former Hibs man Marvin Bartley defended the Hoops and insists good teams are unable to perform at their best each week as they are not ‘robots’.
He told Daily Record: "Listen, good teams can't play perfectly all the time. The important thing is that you do keep turning out results and Celtic getting through today for example.
Yes, it isn't the Celtic way, they want to see it week in and week out but the players are not robots. It is just important to keep grinding those results out and show a different side to your game."