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Walter Smith warns of difficult summer for Rangers

Rangers midfielder Steven Davis
Smith praised Steven Davis (right), scorer of the opening goal at Hampden

Rangers manager Walter Smith has warned that the club's financial problems will heighten in the summer even if they complete a domestic Treble.

Smith was asked to expand on his comments, made after Rangers reached the Co-operative Insurance Cup final with a 2-0 win over St Johnstone.

"It's not time for it at the present moment," he told BBC Scotland.

"But everything will not be all right at the end of the season. It will only get worse."

Rangers are heavily in debt and, while title rivals Celtic were able to bring in eight new players during January, Smith was unable to add to his squad.

Celtic's defeat by Kilmarnock on Tuesday left reigning champions Rangers 10 points clear in the Scottish Premier League and the Ibrox men followed that with victory at Hampden.

"It doesn't take away from the fact that we have a problem," said Smith.

"I think you need to be blind to think we don't have a problem that for a team of our standing we should not have and my concern is that that will continue.

"We are only left to do what we have to do on the pitch and try as hard as we can and we are doing that.

"For whatever faults we all have, from myself all the way down through the players, they don't lack a desire to try as hard as they can to win the game and they are managing to do that.

"We are delighted to be in the final, but anybody who thinks it is going to get better in the summer is deluding themselves."

Rangers march on to face St Mirren in the final on 21 March and take on the same side in the Scottish Cup at the weekend as they continue their quest for a domestic clean-sweep.

"Trebles are never easy to win - I know that myself through past experience," said Smith.

"This spell that we're having and the problems we have, if we do take injuries, it could ruin the season for us, but that's in the background just now.

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"We're enjoying the fact that we've got to the first cup final of the season and we'll look forward to that."

Smith felt the first goal - scored by Steven Davis - was crucial and praised the midfielder for scoring in a third successive game.

"He's been playing extremely well," Smith said. "It is asking a lot of him, but every game we have we are relying a lot on his energy.

"I don't know what he's done, but he's been adding goals to his performances at the present moment, which obviously we're delighted with."

Strikers Nacho Novo and Kyle Lafferty were withdrawn in the second half carrying knocks, but Smith expected both to the fit for the weekend Scottish Cup tie.



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see also
Rangers 2-0 St Johnstone
03 Feb 10 |  Scottish Cups
Rangers v St Johnstone as it happened
03 Feb 10 |  Scottish Cups
Old Firm agree new sponsor deal
03 Feb 10 |  Scottish Premier
Smith applauds Celtic over Keane
02 Feb 10 |  Rangers
No Rangers complacency - Thomson
31 Jan 10 |  Rangers
Mendes completes Sporting switch
30 Jan 10 |  Rangers
Smith critical of 'no sale' talk
29 Jan 10 |  Rangers


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