Here's every word the manager had to say ahead of his side's clash with Hearts at Hampden.

How good is it going into Sunday after a midweek win?

It's always good to get confidence but it's never a guarantee - we need to confirm, do what we've been doing in these last two weeks. We know it's a hard challenge that we experienced recently against them. It's a big game and everyone needs to be ready for that.

How do you feel as a manager so close to silverware?

I am focused on the game, not silverware or how many games it will take to win a trophy or whatever. It's focusing on the task, for players in their position and what they need to do together with and without the ball and putting all our energy into that. Football stays a game, that's a little different to other spots like Basketball or volleyball or sports where you're dominant and the better team, you have 90 percent chance to win. In football, this is not the case. We need to be focused on everything and to force the result. 

Does this trophy carry extra significance given its timing?

We can say at the end of the season.

Do you sense a heightened expectation for silverware with no Celtic?

Those are really good things for you guys as you can make a lot of articles about it. I'm not busy with those things and with that noise, whether people think it's important or not. For me, like I said, every game and day is important. Today we had training and every exercise is important for me. That the players show quality. If they do that every day and game, at the end of the season there will be silverware. We need to focus on our own things, not noise and what can be or should be. We are focused on ourselves.

Is the challenge you've set your players to keep proving they can maintain standards?

I want my players to be ambitious to become better. It's not like it was a perfect performance. We can do things better than this performance. You see they're starting to understand the story we want to do. So it becomes more fluid. Also, more players stepping in and getting experience in how to move together, what to do with and without the ball. Like this, we need to strengthen the team and let them grow.

Is that the hope, better as the squad gets fitter?

Yeah but you also have an opponent - it's not just ourselves! You have scenarios in a game, we had one in midweek where we scored fast so the opponent needed to come out, they lose confidence so it became easier. Against Hearts, we had a goal against. We were pushing and had chances and they saved both on the line, there was a penalty. It's a totally different scenario. At the end we took the victory because we didn't stop, kept repeating, kept confidence, kept belief and desire. Those are the things we need every game. It's not a guarantee you win every game. I don't know one team who's done that. Every day I am looking for perfection in everything, but I know also that 100 percent perfection does not exist and football can be a game of mistakes.  

First game at the national stadium - looking forward to it?

No to be honest. I have a lot of respect for the history but I am so focused on my team. That's the only thing that is important. I told them with the circumstances before the game in Dundee. It does not matter if we play in the national stadium or parking lot - it's about one thing, winning games.

Is that easy to get players to just focus?

We have a lot of challenges as a manager, if it was that easy I'd have a better life. It's one of the things.

Any players returning for the game?

Depends, I am not thinking so much who is out. I can say who is not in, that's easier for the moment. John Souttar will not be available, Nico, Rabbi and Kemar also not. The rest, I hope, will be availible to be in the selection.

A chance we could see Tom Lawrence back in the sqaud?

There's a chance, but it's not a guarantee it depends what I see in training like all players.

Was Ben Davies rested in the week?

He had a small problem, that's why I didn't take chances. Also according to what the medical staff told me that it would be a risk to play. I am not someone who takes risks at those moments to lose a player for several weeks. I have confidence in the squad, I want to build one more than 11 or 14 players. You need to give chances and Leon Balogun took his chance so that's a very positive thing. Normally Ben will be back [for Sunday] but it's still on the edge.

How big would an early trophy be for you at the club?

No, honestly I am totally not busy with that. I do this job because I love to do things with people together.  I love to make players better, to guide them and to put my passion as a player into other people, because my body can't do that on the pitch anymore. I'm not busy with my career and where I want to go. I have won trophies in my career, but the satisfaction is having this with the players and staff.  I love the joy football can give people, like in Dundee after the final whistle you go inside and see all these people so happy. That is why I love to be a manager, with my players, staff and supporters. It's about that not my personal thing.

Is that what you want to see from your players?

Yeah for sure.  I want my players to be ambitious, the medals will come if you do the correct things. We need to be brave and not be afraid to make mistakes - it is important how you react afterwards and that is what I want to give to my players. As a coach, you need to invest in your players and see the qualities they have and build on this. You need to see potential and give them the tools to develop themselves. I want my team to be motivated for everything regardless of the trophy or the occasion - they must be like this every day and show the best of themselves.

Have you seen the players who have had criticism having the attitude that you want? The likes of Lammers and Dessers?

They take criticism? I don’t know. They had criticism? That is why I am not busy with noise. I am busy with what I see in the training and in the games. I analyse, together with my staff, about that. I was not the biggest talent as a player, I also had criticism in my career. I know how things go. I have had players in the past that everyone said were not good players and could not do something. I think a good example is Ally Samatta in Genk. When I came there, everybody said that he could not score goals, that he always missed chances. If you think like that as a coach and you follow that, you have  a problem. We invested in him, we trained him and we saw technical qualities that he could score goals. We made a lot of training with him with extra exercises after the training and one year later he was top scorer and in the second year he made a transfer to the Premier League. It is about that, about seeing the potential of players and then giving them the tools to develop themselves together with the staff. It is about the players taking those chances. I am not busy with what other people think about my players. I will see what I see on the pitch.

Is there an additional hunger for some players to add the final medal at Rangers?

I hate this extra motivation. I want that they are motivated for everything. If I think ‘oh, now they are motivated because it is a semi-final and we can win a cup’ then it is totally the wrong message. We need to be motivated every day, every game, to show the best of themselves. A football career is so short, for them it is so fast gone. You need to be motivated every day to get the best out of every day. They have the best life in the world. That I want to see from my players. Then the other things follow.

What message would you have to the fans regarding pyro?

I think I was clear in what I said after the game. I will repeat it for the last time. I loved how we came in Dundee, in special circumstances, we come outside for the warm-up and you see a lot of Rangers supporters, a lot of atmosphere, songs, chants, support for the team. It gives the team energy and the pyro we don’t need. It doesn’t give something extra. It is dangerous. If they give all the other things I will be a very satisfied manager.

It wasn’t that big during your playing career?

It happened much more than now. It is good that there are rules because it is dangerous. I think we need to avoid that. People can become in danger. In a lot of places in the past I have seen it but it is good that there are strict rules because we need to avoid that danger for people.