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Page last updated at 10:11 GMT, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 11:11 UK

Rangers boss Walter Smith raises squad injury fears

Rangers manager Walter Smith
Walter Smith is keen to bolster his squad to boost hopes of landing silverware

Rangers manager Walter Smith has raised concerns over the impact injuries and suspensions could have on his squad in the new season.

Kris Boyd and Kevin Thomson have joined Middlesbrough, while Stevie Smith, DaMarcus Beasley and Nacho Novo also left Ibrox during the summer.

"Injuries and suspensions are what worry me right now and more than ever before," said 62-year-old Smith.

"In fact, they are what worry me most as I look towards the new season."

Rangers travel to Australia on Tuesday to continue their pre-season training ahead of the defence of their Scottish Premier League title.

Left-back Sasa Papac is unavailable after suffering a knee injury in last weekend's friendly against Queen of the South.

And Smith, who is in his final season as manager at Ibrox, is keen to bolster his squad before seeking a third consecutive league championship.

"We still have a strong base of a team and if one or two more could be added that would be great," he said.

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"But when you are running with a small squad it's the number of injuries and suspensions that hit you harder.

"You have to factor in the European football and the matches some of the boys will be playing with their national sides in the first part of the season. I can only hope that doesn't take its toll.

"There is no doubt that could inhibit us a bit in terms of any success."

The Rangers manager added: "We just have to do everything we can to make sure everyone stays as fit as possible, but we have to keep a certain level of discipline in our play as well."

Striker Andrius Velicka will also miss the Australian tour as he battles back from a knee injury which has kept him sidelined since last August.



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see also
Youth will get a chance - Smith
18 Jul 10 |  Rangers
Ibrox exodus
21 Jul 10 |  Rangers
Depleted Gers can cope - Miller
16 Jul 10 |  Rangers
Smith admits transfer frustration
07 Jul 10 |  Rangers


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