The Rangers record Hearts must banish as Cammy Devlin explains the plan for Ibrox
Hearts’ record against Rangers comes under the microscope again on Wednesday night after just two wins for the Edinburgh club in the previous 22 meetings. Since their 4-1 victory at Tynecastle Park in February 2017, Hearts’ record has been pretty dismal against those from Govan.
The German coach Daniel Stendel was in charge when they beat Rangers in both the Premiership and Scottish Cup early in 2020. Steven Naismith, currently interim manager at Tynecastle, scored in the first of those victories and is now aiming to mastermind a long-awaited encore.
Victory for Hearts at Ibrox could prove critical to their chances of finishing third in the league and potentially securing European group-stage football for next season. Midfielder Cammy Devlin has played for almost two seasons in Edinburgh without experiencing a win against Rangers and is eager to reverse that trend.
“Yeah, since I’ve come here I think we’ve just had that draw at Ibrox. That was a great result for us,” he said. “It’s about going there and trying to get the win. Since Naisy has taken over, you can see the change in style. Even in the games we haven’t won, we’ve still shown glimpses of attacking football and the way he wants us to play. He’s drilling it into us on the training pitch.
“It was a big result for us beating Aberdeen 2-1 at the weekend. We’ll have a gameplan for going to Ibrox. I would love to go there and get a result. We know how important the game is for the club, so we’ll be doing everything we can to win it.”
Statistics underline Hearts’ fortunes against Rangers given they have yet to score in three encounters with the Ibrox side this season. Devlin is under no illusions heading west. “They’re a good team, there’s no shying away from that. Celtic and Rangers are both big clubs,” he said. “They have a big fanbase, a lot of money and good players, but we believe in ourselves and what we’re doing at the club.
“We are doing the best we possibly can, albeit that’s not a nice stat to hear. As players, we need to do everything we can to rectify that. I think we’ll have a great chance on Wednesday night to hopefully go and do that.”
Naismith has stressed to the Hearts squad the importance of remaining composed and focused amid the intimidating Ibrox atmosphere. “It was a great result for us on Saturday to then carry that and build into this game against Rangers,” added Devlin. “They will have 50,000 fans and we’ll have that little corner of the stadium for our own fans.
“It’s about being calm. In these games, it’s so important to be able to keep the ball once you win it back. Rangers will come at us and their fans get on top of you. They try and make you feel small on what is a big pitch. We need to show our quality and try to win the game.”