Ally McCoist last night turned up the heat ahead of the first Old Firm match in two-and-a-half years.
The Rangers manager declared himself “delighted” by the draw but blasted Hoops keeper Craig Gordon.
Scotland internationalist Gordon trained with Rangers before going on to join Celtic who, he stated on Friday, were the first to offer him a deal.
He said: “The possibility of me joining Rangers was talked about, but nothing was ever finalised or offered.”
That has infuriated McCoist, who believes it has called his professionalism as a manager into question.
“It is quite right the Press should ask the question,” he said.
“But what you need to know is that we DID offer Craig Gordon a contract.
“You have been told what I have been told, but I have been put in a position by the Press today where there was a question mark over myself and my staff for not offering a contract to a very good player.
“I gave Craig the opportunity to use our facilities, to use our physiotherapist and our goalkeeping coach.
“I haven’t heard from Craig Gordon since, but I can assure you an offer was made to Craig Gordon and his representative.”
While welcoming the January clash with Celtic, the Rangers boss was anxious the tie doesn’t distract his players from their Championship push over the next three months.
“I’m delighted with the draw and, judging by the reaction from the boys in the dressing-room, they’re happier than me,” said McCoist.
“It’s a great draw for us. Everyone has anticipated it and I don’t think there’s any doubt Celtic will start as favourites.
“It’s a smashing game for us, though. We feel the boys have come a long way and we’re now in a position where we feel we can compete with teams on our day.
“We’re not going to get carried away, but I think it says a lot about the last couple of years that we’re now looking forward to that type of game.
“It can’t be a distraction, though, and it absolutely won’t be. It’s a League Cup semi-final with Celtic but nothing more.
“Whether anybody likes it or not, it isn’t as high on the agenda as getting out of the Championship is for us.”
The Old Firm semi-final is set to be played at Hampden, and the game between Aberdeen and Dundee United is likely to go to Tynecastle.
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