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Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Saturday, 11 September 2010 17:35 UK

Boss Walter Smith wants more from Rangers performances

Kenny McDowell, Walter Smith and Ally McCoist
Smith (centre) is calling on his team to show more consistency

Walter Smith was pleased his side maintained their winning start to the season against Hamilton but again stressed that Rangers must improve.

"Obviously, scoring so late in the game, we're delighted to get the win," the manager told BBC Scotland.

"We're looking for a bit more consistency of play. We started the game well and finished the game well.

"The period in between time, we were a little bit inconsistent, especially in our possession of the ball."

Nikica Jelavic scored his first Rangers goal and top scorer Kenny Miller grabbed the winner in the last minute, Madjid Bougherra netting an own goal to draw Hamilton level.

"We started the game very well in the first 15 minutes or so - in that period we got a really good goal," said Smith.

"Hamilton got a goal that, from our own point of view, was a rather sloppy one.

"It was only after that that we started to show good reaction to that. We started to push forward with a little bit more purpose and had one or two half chances before Kenny Miller managed to get us the winner.

"He's doing extremely well for us at the present moment, he's looking very sharp and he's shown that, if we do create an opportunity for him, he's able to put them away.

Our performances away from home in the Champions League last season were decent enough. Hopefully we can replicate those performances and maybe even try and do better at Old Trafford

Walter Smith

"He's normally known as more of a creator than a scorer of goals, but since the season's started he's been adding to a good tally of goals last season and he's been doing extremely well.

"Any striker likes to come to a club and score as quickly as they possibly can. It was a good goal from Nikica Jelavic; a good move, good cross and a nice header away.

"From our own point of view, we look forward to him settling in. It's been a difficult period since he came to the club. We've only had a couple of training sessions with him, so it was good that he managed to get that one today."

Smith had previously expressed his desire for his team to up their performance level following hard-fought wins against Kilmarnock, Hibernian and St Johnstone in the opening weeks of the season.

And Smith expects his resources to be stretched as Rangers enter a busy period of domestic and European fixtures, starting with Tuesday's Champions League opener against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

"In fairness, Hamilton were very bright," he added. "They put us under pressure, they worked very hard to close us down, as we knew they would do.

"A lot of our players need games. James Beattie, for instance, hasn't played since Christmas time really and the games that he's been getting for us are the first games that he's had.

"You can see that that six-month lay-off has taken a bit of time to get back into it again and he needs the games as much as anything else.

"Our performances away from home in the Champions League last season were decent enough. So, hopefully, we can replicate those performances and maybe even try and do better at Old Trafford on Tuesday."

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see also
Hamilton 1-2 Rangers
11 Sep 10 |  Scottish Premier
Smith not looking to rest players
10 Sep 10 |  Rangers
Edu aims for Old Trafford impact
08 Sep 10 |  Rangers

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