Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Danny Stewart: Daniel Stendel and Derek McInnes are up for the Cup – and under scrutiny in the quarter-finals

© SNSDaniel Stendel and Derek McInnes face testing Cup ties
Daniel Stendel and Derek McInnes face testing Cup ties

It is handy for the SFA that, at a time when they are hunting for a new sponsor for the Scottish Cup, the competition is presenting itself in the best possible light.

Last midweek, two fifth round replays offered up startling drama for an audience satiated by TV action from all over the world.

On Tuesday, St Mirren beat Motherwell on penalties after it had ended 4-4 after 90 minutes.

Then, 24 hours later at Rugby Park, Aberdeen edged Kilmarnock 4-3, with the winner coming in stoppage time of extra time.

Combined, they have provided the perfect appetiser for a feast of entertainment in next weekend’s quarter-finals.

Domestic cups are often disparaged in these days of elongated European competitions that offer both greater financial reward and prestige to their participants.

The sight of top English clubs sending out patchwork teams comprised of kids and out-of-favour veterans in the FA Cup is dispiriting for those old enough to have grown up in the days when a live Wembley Final was a highlight of the year.

Happily, it does not happen so much here in Scotland.

The arrival of Brendan Rodgers at Celtic was a particular fillip to both the League Cup and Scottish Cup.

The Irishman, with a clear eye on the historic significance of winning the Treble, treated all ties not so much as a potential banana skins, but unexploded hand grenades.

They won them all under his charge and the lesson was heeded, not least by his successor Neil Lennon, who clinched himself a permanent deal by steering his side to victory in last season’s Final.

The Hoops are still in the shake-up this year – away to St Johnstone on Sunday – book-ending a weekend that starts with Hibs v Inverness Caley Thistle.

But the real intrigue lies elsewhere, specifically with Saturday’s double-header.

It kicks off with Hearts at home to Rangers, and ends with the meeting of the midweek heroes, St Mirren and Aberdeen in Paisley.

For three of the four managers involved – Daniel Stendel of Hearts, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard and Aberdeen’s Derek McInnes – the outcome of their ties will have a massive impact on the way their individual seasons are judged.

With his team marooned at the bottom of the Premiership, Stendel has to view the visit of the Light Blues as a potential catalyst to turn his new club’s season around – before it is too late.

Hearts are not too big to go down.

McInnes will remember only too well the way Dons travelling fans chanted for him to go after his team’s underwhelming display in the 0-0 draw at the Paisley ground at the end of January.

Given the squad and the budget he has at his disposal, Aberdeen need to be getting past this tie and targeting a Final appearance, if not a Cup win.

The same applies to Gerrard.

Unlucky losers in the League Cup Final, he knows that on their best form, Rangers would have a great chance to win silverware.

That would go a long way to easing the pain that appears to be coming down the road, with Celtic now looking near nailed-on for nine-in-a-row.

So plenty to look forward to.

The only unappealing aspect of the quarter finals, in fact, is the scheduling with four different kick-off times – three of them at night – across three days, giving a drunken look to the card.