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Page last updated at 14:38 GMT, Tuesday, 20 May 2008 15:38 UK

Queens aim to be sharp for final

SCOTTISH CUP FINAL
Venue: Hampden Park Date: Saturday, 24 May Kick-off: 1500 BST
Coverage: BBC One Scotland, BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Scotland & BBC Radio 5 Live


Queen of the South midfielder Neil MacFarlane poses with the cup
MacFarlane can't wait to get started on Saturday

Neil MacFarlane believes Queen of the South will be ready for Rangers in the Scottish Cup final despite a long lay-off for the First Division side.

"We finished four weeks ago, but we have kept ourselves ticking over with a few bounce games," said the midfielder. "This week has just been a normal training week leading up to the final.

"Rangers' busy season keeps them sharp and focused. We haven't had that side of things, but hopefully the day will take care of itself for us."

Queen of the South's league campaign ended with a 4-0 defeat at Dunfermline on 26 April.

Before lining up at Hampden Park, Rangers will have played nine games since then.

To take this club to a Scottish Cup final for the first time in their history is absolutely brilliant

Queen of the South midfielder Neil MacFarlane

"Rangers have had a lot to play for the whole season, they have had a remarkable season," added former Hearts and Aberdeen man MacFarlane.

The final kicks off less than 48 hours after Rangers visit Pittodrie for the last match of an extended SPL campaign.

But MacFarlane knows Rangers will be heavily backed to win, regardless of whether they head into the game as league champions or not.

"We are not kidding ourselves on, Rangers are the favourites, but our form since mid-December has been excellent," said the 30-year-old.

"St Johnstone and Partick Thistle pushed them all the way in the cup and, on our day, we can certainly live with them in our division."

The Doonhamers produced an exhilarating 4-3 win over Aberdeen to book their place in the club's first-ever major final.

"The win over Aberdeen was a massive result - there is no getting away from it," continued MacFarlane.

MY SPORT: DEBATE

"To take this club to a Scottish Cup final for the first time in their history is absolutely brilliant. The game can't come quick enough.

"I'd settle for the same score as the semi-final. I think it could be an open game and I hope it is because it's the showpiece for the Scottish season.

"I think Rangers are quite similar to us.

"They have been about work ethic and team effort and I don't think you could single anybody out.

"We've just got to look after ourselves and do what they have been doing by working really hard and see where it takes us.

"There is a great sense of anticipation among the squad and the staff, as well as back home in Dumfries, so everybody is looking forward to it."




see also
Queens sell out cup ticket share
15 May 08 |  South of Scotland
Doonhamers clinch European place
21 Apr 08 |  South of Scotland
Doonhamers dazzled by cup triumph
14 Apr 08 |  South of Scotland
Queens heroes enter legend
12 Apr 08 |  Queen of the South
Chisholm joy for historic Queens
12 Apr 08 |  Queen of the South
Queen of the South 4-3 Aberdeen
12 Apr 08 |  Scottish Cups


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