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Page last updated at 10:31 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 11:31 UK

Smith confident Gers can progress

Rangers boss Walter Smith.
Smith felt neither side looked likely to score

Walter Smith says Rangers can still reach the last four of the Uefa Cup, despite a 0-0 quarter-final, first-leg draw with Sporting Lisbon at Ibrox.

Neither side was able to fashion much in the way of clear-cut chances in a scrappy, disjointed contest.

But Smith said: "We got the best result of the home teams in the Uefa Cup.

"Our performance wasn't as good as it has been but we at least managed a 0-0 draw, which gives us a chance in the second leg."

In the day's other three quarter-final ties, Bayern Munich drew 1-1 at home to Getafe, Fiorentina were held 1-1 in Italy by PSV, while Zenit St Petersburg won 4-1 at Bayer Leverkusen.

The Rangers manager was disappointed with the slow start his side made to the first-leg tie - and he conceded Sporting had enjoyed the better of the first-half possession.

606: DEBATE
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Rangers improved after the break but failed to put the Sporting defence under enough pressure, as first Jean-Claude Darcheville and then his replacement Nacho Novo toiled with little support in the lone striker role.

The home side tired towards the end of a physically draining encounter, with their recent hectic fixture schedule appearing to catch up with them.

In the final five minutes, Sporting almost snatched a priceless away goal, with efforts from Liedson and Tonel going close.

"I don't think it was physical tiredness in the last 15 minutes, I think it was a mental thing," explained Smith.

We are more than capable of going there and scoring

Lee McCulloch

"Mentally we had one or two errors that caused us a few anxious moments but at the end of the day we can't disagree with the result.

"There were very few opportunities for either side throughout the game."

Rangers midfielder Lee McCulloch said the Ibrox club remained favourites to progress to the last four.

"The ball is still in our court. We would liked to have scored. But it's not the end of the world, and we won't let our heads go down," he said.

"We didn't play well, and there was a lot of route-one football. But we didn't concede - and that is the positive thing.

"We are more than capable of going there and scoring, so that's why we will be confident."




see also
Rangers 0-0 Sporting Lisbon
03 Apr 08 |  Europe
Rangers v Sporting photos
03 Apr 08 |  Europe
Rangers Player Rater
17 Jan 07 |  Live Text
Uefa Cup as it happened
03 Apr 08 |  Europe
Free Uefa tickets for Gers fans
23 Mar 08 |  Rangers


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