Jack Butland has conceded Rangers must shore up their porous defence if they want to beat Celtic in the Scottish Gas Scottish Cup final - and stressed the absence of experienced players is no excuse for letting in soft goals.

The Ibrox club were held to a 3-3 draw by Hearts in their final cinch Premiership match at Tynecastle on Saturday afternoon – a disappointing result which left them eight points adrift of their city rivals in the final league table.

 The visitors had been leading 3-1 with just eight minutes of regulation time remaining thanks to second half goals from Ross McCausland, Todd Cantwell and Fabio Silva.

However, they allowed first Dexter Lembikisa and then Kyosuke Tagawa to breach their rearguard in the closing stages of the encounter in Gorgie.

Those late strikes meant that Brendan Rodgers’ side, who beat St Mirren 3-2 at home before being crowned champions for the third year running, finished the 2023/24 Premiership campaign with a better defensive record than Philippe Clement’s team.

READ MORE: Butland confesses title failure hit Rangers ‘like a ton of bricks’

Former England internationalist Butland has picked the ball out of his net eight times in his last four appearances and he acknowledged that, despite the absence of Leon Balogun, Connor Goldson, John Souttar and Ridvan Yilmaz in recent weeks, Rangers have to do better at the back. 

Ased if the Viaplay Cup winners need to be more clinical in the final third to defeat Celtic at Hampden this weekend and complete a double, he said: “We’ve still scored three on Saturday, but we can’t concede three. So there are things that we need to learn.

“Yes, we’ve got some inexperience in there, we’ve had some changes and this, that and the other. Everyone will make excuses for us, but we have to learn and we have to be better. It’s as simple as that.

“Recently, we’ve conceded far too many goals. That’s pretty simple and we need to stamp that out before next weekend. But if you score three, you should win the game.”