AS Steven Davis and his Rangers team-mates celebrated victory over Celtic at Hampden in 2011, nobody in Light Blue would have believed it could be eight years before another major title was won.

The wait has been a long and difficult one for supporters. While Rangers were being left empty-handed season after season, Davis was showing his class in the Premier League.

He returned from Southampton in January to help Steven Gerrard’s side become champions once again.

But it is the Betfred Cup that is the first medal up for grabs and victory over Hearts on Sunday has set up an Old Firm showdown next month.

It was Davis that opened the scoring against Celtic in March 2011. After Joe Ledley had equalised, Nikica Jelavic netted an injury-time winner for Walter Smith’s side.

That day seems a lifetime ago for the Ibrox crowd. Davis is back in blue and determined to roll back the years.

“We’re delighted to be in the final,” he said after a Filip Helander strike and two goals from Alfredo Morelos saw off the Jambos. “Ultimately, we haven’t achieved anything yet but it’s a step in the right direction and it’s a day we’ll certainly look forward to.

“Nobody had spoken about our poor recent record at Hampden beforehand. With this group of players, it didn’t prey on anyone’s mind – we just focused on trying to get a positive result.

“Obviously, some of the lads were involved when we lost to Aberdeen last year and that run of results here hasn’t been great for the club but, overall, it was a really good performance from us today. It’s going to be an interesting final, that’s for sure.

“It would be nice if history repeated itself but, listen, it’s going to be a difficult one to predict. Both clubs have been in really good form since the start of the season and this is a game that will whet the appetite of the fans.

“Whenever it comes to a cup final, history doesn’t necessarily come into it. Naturally, we’ll need to give them a certain amount of respect because of what they’ve achieved in recent years and the consistency they’ve shown but the challenge for us is to go and lift the trophy on the day.”

The final with Celtic comes just a fortnight before the second Premiership meeting of the season between the Old Firm rivals at Parkhead.

Victory on December 8 would be a significant moment for Rangers and their supporters. And midfielder Davis knows just how important silverware is this term.

He said: “It’s going to be intriguing to see how this season pans out. Both teams have shown a good level of consistency and I’m sure there will be plenty of twists and turns before it finishes.

“I certainly don’t think the teams will be allowed to drop too many points over the course of the season, that’s for sure. We’ll have to show a real level of consistency, either side who goes on to win the title. That’s the challenge for us, we just need to keep trying to replicate the level of performance we showed today.

“I’m not too sure if the final will have a bearing in terms of the league but of course psychologically it could give us a big boost if we were to go on and win it. So that’s the challenge for us – it’s always important to get that first trophy as a group as well. It gives you that appetite to go on and have more success.

“There’s going to be a lot of pressure on the day and it’s ultimately which group of players can deal with it best and still perform on the day.

“I’ve never been involved in a cup final which has been comfortable, whether it’s been Celtic or anybody else.

“It’ll be a tough day but we’re hopeful we can come out on the right side of it.”

Davis was once again one of the key men for Gerrard’s side as Rangers ran out convincing winners. It was a showing that highlighted why Gerrard is keen to complete a new deal.

Davis said: “We haven’t sat down and spoken about anything just yet. But I think you can see I’m enjoying my football, that’s why I’m playing the way I am and the team’s performing well too. I haven’t given it too much thought but if those talks do happen it’ll be done quite easily, I’m sure.”