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Page last updated at 21:33 GMT, Wednesday, 14 May 2008 22:33 UK

Smith hails Rangers' terrific run

Barry Ferguson and Lee McCulloch can only watch Zenit lift the cup
Barry Ferguson and Lee McCulloch could only watch Zenit lift the cup

Rangers manager Walter Smith hailed his side's "terrific" Uefa Cup campaign after they suffered a 2-0 final defeat at the hands of Zenit St Petersburg.

"Over the tournament, we've worked very hard to get to the final - there was not that much in it overall and we had a few chances ourselves," he said.

"Zenit looked the more offensive team, but obviously at this stage I'm disappointed to have lost.

"We've had a terrific tournament. In the end, I can have no complaints."

Smith, though, recognised that it was an opportunity missed.

"You don't get the opportunity very often to get to European finals and, when you do, it's very disappointing to lose," he said.

Rangers had been hoping for a four-trophy haul at the end of the season after already winning the CIS Insurance Cup.

And defender David Weir challenged his team to bounce back from their final heartbreak and claim a Scottish Premier League victory at Motherwell on Saturday that would take them a step closer to what can only now be a treble.

"That's what we're focused on now," he said. "We'll find out what we're all about on Saturday morning."

Zenit are a very good side, so big credit to them

Rangers defender David Weir

Weir congratulated Zenit on their victory and pointed out that Rangers had gone further than many thought possible this season.

"We've come a long way and won a lot of games that maybe we shouldn't have, but it's just big disappointment," he said.

"They are a very good side, so big credit to them.

"They beat Bayern Munich in the semis and Bayer Leverkusen, but we want to be up there picking up the trophy."

While midfielder Steven Whittaker insisted that Rangers' hectic schedule of games could not be used as an excuse, defender Carlos Cuellar suggested that the SPL's decision not to postpone Saturday's game against Dundee United had hampered their chances.

see also
Zenit St Petersburg 2-0 Rangers
14 May 08 |  Europe
Rangers abandon bus parade plan
15 May 08 |  Rangers
Call to widen Uefa violence probe
15 May 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Uefa Cup final as it happened
14 May 08 |  Europe
Rangers fall at final hurdle
14 May 08 |  Europe
Uefa Cup fans clash with police
15 May 08 |  Manchester
Uefa Cup final photos
14 May 08 |  Football

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