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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 August 2007, 21:09 GMT 22:09 UK
Smith talks up Red Star quality
Rangers manager Walter Smith
Walter Smith praised his side's patience
Walter Smith was not surprised by the strength of Red Star Belgrade after Rangers edged the first leg of their Champions League qualifier at Ibrox.

"I thought it would be a difficult game, but we worked extremely hard for the win," said the Rangers manager following the 1-0 victory.

"We were playing a team with a good pedigree and have some good players.

"They were a difficult team to break down and in these games you have to be patient and we did that."

Nacho Novo's late goal gave Rangers a narrow lead to take to Serbia in two week's time.

But Smith stressed: "If you look at the games all over Europe this evening, they were all extremely tight and ours was probably the best result because we didn't lose a goal.

We are a new team and maybe the creativity will come with better teamwork

Rangers manager Walter Smith

"There is nothing between teams at this level, even if people in Scotland don't always want to accept that." The victory meant that Rangers extended their fine start to the season to five wins, having scored nine goals and conceded none.

"We have shown that we are a difficult team to score goals against even if we aren't the most pleasing on the eye," said Smith.

"We have won all our games so far and we are tough to break down. The players are working hard and there is a good foundation there.

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"The one aspect that can't be criticised is that we are working hard.

"We are a new team and maybe the creativity will come with better teamwork. I certainly hope so."

Novo came off the bench to make the difference - not for the first time this season - but Smith was playing down the Spaniard's chances of a regular starting place.

"Novo's a lively character with pace who is a good option to bring on because he can take advantage of the opposition when they are tiring," said the manager.

"He has done that in the last few games and we hope that continues."

SEE ALSO
Rangers 1-0 Red Star Belgrade
14 Aug 07 |  Europe
Champions League photos
14 Aug 07 |  Europe


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