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Smith praise for McGregor display

Allan McGregor
McGregor denied Bremen with a number of superb saves

Walter Smith said the "fantastic" performance of goalkeeper Allan McGregor was the key to Rangers' advance to the Uefa Cup quarter-finals.

Despite losing away to Werder Bremen, the Ibrox club won 2-1 on aggregate.

"We knew Werder would press us and that they would have a lot of possession but Allan McGregor was fantastic for us tonight," said Smith.

"We rode our luck at times but to go through after our Champions League exit is a great bonus."

Diego struck for the Germans after 57 minutes to bring the tie to life after the Scots went to the Weser Stadium protecting a 2-0 lead.

But a string of fabulous saves from Scotland goalkeeper McGregor ensured Rangers a place in the quarter-finals for Friday's draw.


And the 26-year-old told BBC Scotland: "Tonight was a massive result for us - we've proved a lot of people wrong.

"I'm not bothered about individual performances as it's simply a great result for the team.

"It's brilliant to beat Werder Bremen as they were one of the favourites for the Uefa Cup but we just have to take one game at a time," he added.

"We have a great team spirit here, with a mix of Scots and foreign players, and that has been essential for us so far this season."

Smith said McGregor's form was instrumental in Rangers' progress in the Uefa Cup.

"He has been extremely consistent and I think he is now living up to the potential he has always had even before I came back here as manager," said Smith.

"He's an extremely good goalie. He saved the game for us."

On the draw for the quarter-finals, Smith said: "It will take a tremendous achievement from us to progress any further so hopefully we'll manage to do but we don't know.

"We're happy enough to just take what comes."

Rangers captain Barry Ferguson said the club should not fear any side in the last eight of the Uefa Cup.

"We have knocked out two good sides and Werder Bremen were probably one of the favourites along with Bayern Munich," he said.

"We have done well to get through but we did the hard work at Ibrox and knew that they would have plenty of possession here."

see also
W Bremen 1-0 Rangers (agg 1-2)
13 Mar 08 |  Europe
Uefa Cup photo gallery
13 Mar 08 |  Scotland
Werder Bremen v Rangers (0-2)
12 Mar 08 |  Europe

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