sport

Rankin: I've nothing to prove

John Rankin says he has nothing to prove after skippering Dundee United to a 3-1 victory over Rangers in the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final.

The former Manchester United trainee is looking forward to the first cup final of his career after enjoying a new lease of life as a mainstay of the Dundee United side under manager Jackie McNamara.

The midfielder endured a frustrating spell at former club Hibernian where he found himself frozen out by then manager Colin Calderwood who even ordered him to stay away from the club's training base.

But the 30-year-old insists he has put his ill-fated spell at Hibernian behind him and hopes he can fulfil a lifelong dream by winning the Scottish Cup.

"There is nobody that I had to prove wrong apart from maybe one person - and to be honest, I don't really care what he thinks," Rankin said.

"That's life - you can't please everybody and I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. I never have and I never will."

"When the chips are down you need to dig deep.

"At that time at Hibs, it was a hard time for me. I spent a lot of time myself in the gym on my own. But since I moved to United, I have never looked back.

"Everyone here, the players and the management team, are great and I get on with them. And with the supporters and the club in general, it's a great place to work.

"I go in every day with a smile on my face and that makes a big difference.

"Now I'm 30 and going into my first cup final. I'm just loving the whole experience. The manager gave me the armband at Ibrox and leading the team out in front of those fans on Saturday made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

"Getting to the stage in my career that I am at, I know I'm not going to have many more opportunities like this.

"If we can go to the cup final and come back with the trophy and a medal each it would be great. I'm desperate for that to happen. Growing up in Scotland, you dream of one thing and that is lifting the Scottish Cup."