Rob Maclean: Five things we learned in the Scottish Cup

Hearts head coach Ian Cathro and assistant Austin MacPhee
Ian Cathro and assistant Austin MacPhee are still trying to work out a winning formula in their early days in charge at Tynecastle

Rob Maclean continues his series assessing the main talking points from the weekend's Scottish football action.

Hearts - a work in progress

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Highlights: Raith Rovers 1-1 Hearts

For me, different is good and I really hope youthful head coach Ian Cathro is a success at Hearts.

That so many people rushed to judgement before he'd even started the job made me support his appointment even more.

But I found Cathro's reaction a bit strange after a late equaliser in Kirkcaldy on Sunday earned Raith Rovers a Tynecastle replay.

Asked if it was a tough result to take, his first words were: "It's OK."

I don't think the big Hearts travelling support reckoned one Jamie Walker goal from a one-sided first half was OK.

And I don't believe the fans were OK with a decidedly limp second-half showing from their team as Rovers fought back.

Like the main stand in Gorgie, Hearts are still a "work in progress".

Time to deal in Miller

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Scottish Cup highlights: Rangers 2-1 Motherwell

What are Rangers waiting for? They should give Kenny Miller the new contract he richly deserves.

In fact, the club could make it a two-and-a-half-year extension which would take him up to his 40th birthday. I'm only half joking.

Veteran Miller is Rangers' best chance of getting goals at the moment. He scored the Old Firm opener on Hogmanay and his weekend double against Motherwell turned a Scottish Cup exit into a place in the Fifth Round.

The former Hibs, Wolves, Celtic, Derby, Bursaspor, Cardiff and Vancouver striker is looking for an extra 12 months from Rangers in the summer but, with fitness not an issue for the 37-year-old, he could easily play longer at the top level in Scotland.

Ditching him would be crazy until they've signed a suitable replacement.

The comeback starts here (Buddies hope)

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Scottish Cup highlights: Dundee 0-2 St Mirren

Championship strugglers St Mirren deprived Dundee of a place in the last 16 as they pulled off one of the shocks of the Scottish Cup weekend.

But they would happily have traded that rip-roaring result for putting three precious points towards escaping back-to-back relegations.

It could soon get critical for Saints. They're seven points behind second-bottom Ayr United with only 15 games to go.

A league revival has to be imminent if Jack Ross's team is to build belief about survival. St Mirren will hope Saturday's Cup win gives them the kick-start they so badly need.

Dunfermline no longer below par

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Scottish Cup highlights: Alloa 2-3 Dunfermline

Dunfermline have bounced back from a below-par start to the season in some style.

Last season's League One winners were second bottom of the Championship in mid-November and now sit only two wins away from the promotion play-off places.

Only leaders Hibs have picked up more points than Dunfermline from their last six league games and, if you delve a little bit further back in time, you'll find Allan Johnston's team is unbeaten in an impressive total of 10 matches in all competitions.

The Pars gaffer was bullish pre-season about their prospects and those confident noises are beginning to ring true.

East End Park might not be the ideal venue this coming weekend for title-chasing Dundee United to try to end their mini-slump.

What's happened to United?

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Scottish Cup highlights: Ross County 6-2 Dundee United

For United, that "title-chasing" prefix could soon lose its relevance if they fall much further adrift of pace-setting Hibs.

That 6-2 Scottish Cup thrashing they suffered in the Dingwall fog on Saturday extended a worrying run of results for Ray McKinnon's team.

Hogmanay defeat at Dumbarton was followed by an emphatic 3-0 win for Hibs against United on the first Friday of 2017. Then, they needed a couple of late goals to rescue a point at home to Queen of the South.

Obviously losing to Ross County has no direct impact on their promotion prospects but that horror half-dozen means they've shipped 13 goals in their last four games, which doesn't exactly do much to bolster confidence.

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