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Gers and Hearts apart after draw

Co-operative Insurance Cup

Hearts have been paired with St Mirren in the semi-final of the Co-operative Insurance Cup.

The Tynecastle side knocked out holders Celtic in the previous round and will take on Gus MacPherson's Buddies, who cruised past Motherwell in October.

St Johnstone will once more face Rangers in cup competition.

Having lost narrowly to the Glasgow side in the Scottish Cup in the previous two seasons, Derek McInnes's side face a familiar challenge.

McInnes insisted that recent encounters against his former club offered hope to the Perth side.

Most people at St Mirren would be against it if Easter Road was put forward as the venue

St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson

"It will be a tough game, obviously," he said. "They are favourites to win the trophy, so I don't think we could have got a more difficult tie.

"But, the fact of the matter is, we have run Rangers very close in the league this season and we ran them close previously in a couple of cup games, none more so than in the last semi-final of the Scottish Cup.

"The way we have to look at it, whoever we got drawn against, it presents us with an opportunity to get to a cup final.

Bouzid content with St Mirren tie

"We are improving as a side and, whoever we play, they will have to play well to progress.

"It is difficult for us, but we hope it is difficult for Rangers as well on the night."

St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson is looking for semi-final redemption against Hearts but insists the game must not be taken to Easter Road.

The semi-final ties, which were drawn at Tynecastle today, are set to be played on Tuesday 2 February and Wednesday 3 and, while the Rangers versus St Johnstone match will almost certainly be played at Hampden, the other venue has yet to be confirmed.

Final not beyond us - McInnes

Asked if Fir Park or Easter Road, home of Hearts' Edinburgh rivals Hibernian, would be more suitable in terms of atmosphere, MacPherson replied: "Easter Road would not be a benefit to St Mirren Football Club.

"That would be an absolute ridiculous decision if that was the venue.

"It will be for other people to decide, but most people at St Mirren would be against it if Easter Road was put forward.

"The players would love to play at their national stadium.

We earned right to make draw - MacPherson

"I have experienced it as a Kilmarnock player when we played St Mirren and, although it wasn't the biggest crowd, I still think, if you asked any player, they would much rather have the opportunity to play at Hampden."

MacPherson insists that his players will be better equipped to cope with the pressures of a semi-final appearance following their 3-0 defeat by Rangers in the Scottish Cup last season.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

Hearts manager Csaba Laszlo was optimistic about his side's chances of going on to lift the trophy itself.

"All four teams are good teams and, with good preparation and concentration, we have a good opportunity to do well in a competition that we have not won for 47 years," he said.


Co-operative Insurance Cup semi-final draw

Hearts v St Mirren
Rangers v St Johnstone

The ties will be played on 2 and 3 February 2010.



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see also
Celtic 0-1 Hearts
28 Oct 09 |  Scottish Cups
Dundee 1-3 Rangers
27 Oct 09 |  Scottish Cups
St Mirren 3-0 Motherwell
27 Oct 09 |  Scottish Cups
St Johnstone 2-1 Dundee United
27 Oct 09 |  Scottish Cups
Co-operative Insurance Cup photo gallery
27 Oct 09 |  Scottish Premier


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