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Page last updated at 18:33 GMT, Sunday, 21 March 2010

Battling Rangers win praise from manager Walter Smith

Co-op Ins Cup highlights - St Mirren 0-1 Rangers

Rangers manager Walter Smith praised the resilience of his side after they won the Co-operative Insurance Cup final with nine men against St Mirren.

Kenny Miller scored the only goal of the match after Kevin Thomson and Danny Wilson had been dismissed.

"They've always shown a good reaction to everything that they've been hit with," Smith told BBC Radio Scotland.

"I've been lucky enough to win a few cups and that was a terrific one for our boys."

Smith admitted Rangers had not been at their best at Hampden but were galvanised by being depleted in number.

"We didn't play well but we've won and that's the main thing.

"We were actually far better when we got the first ordering off and then after the second one we just had to dig in.

"We didn't start the game well and St Mirren were the better side in the first half. The second half never really got a chance to get started and never got any rhythm to it.

"It was just a matter for us, after we got the second player ordered off, to hold on."

Kevin Thomson saw red for a late lunge on St Mirren's Steven Thomson while Wilson was adjudged to have denied Craig Dargo a clear goalscoring opportunity.

"I felt Kevin Thomson's one wasn't really a bad tackle; he got the ball, he's played it away," said Smith.

"Danny Wilson was unfortunate to miss-read the ball through and I suppose, under the current legislation, Dargo has the chance and Danny takes his ordering off.

They were unable to break us down and that's something that has stood us in good stead over the seasons

Walter Smith

"So, I wouldn't really argue with the second one, the first one I would say was quite a soft one."

Smith, now in his second spell as Ibrox boss, has led Rangers to five successive cup finals, winning four.

"It means a lot to us to win," he added.

"I know it sounds silly but it might be a bit of difficult motivation for a lot of our lads, we've reached every cup final in the last few years.

"You see how much it means to the boys at St Mirren, I thought they played extremely well in the game.

"But, obviously with our own squad, they were unable to break us down and that's something that has stood us in good stead over the seasons."

Scorer Miller added: "I think it's testament to the spirit in this team when we drop down to 10 men, then nine men and we still go on and get the win.

"It was a case of just defending and hopefully hitting them on the break and getting that one chance and fortunately that's the way it went."

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see also
Spirit of Rangers haunts Saints
22 Mar 10 |  Scottish Cups
MacPherson stung by final defeat
21 Mar 10 |  St Mirren
St Mirren 0-1 Rangers
21 Mar 10 |  Scottish Cups

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