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Page last updated at 22:29 GMT, Tuesday, 14 September 2010 23:29 UK

Defensive tactics are Rangers' only option, says Smith


Smith blames cash gap for bore draw

Rangers manager Walter Smith believes it has become almost impossible for teams from smaller nations to compete in the Champions League.

After a stuffy defensive performance in the goalless draw at Manchester United, Smith said: "Uefa are allowing a situation to develop that is wrong.

"Bigger clubs in smaller countries are being drastically affected by the lack of finance. It is difficult to compete.

"There has to be more opportunity. It's not just Scotland, but elsewhere, too."

And the veteran Ibrox manager added: "In Holland, Portugal and other countries, they are all suffering badly.

"They have next to no chance of winning the Champions League, the same as 85% of the English teams have no chance of winning their league."

We don't feel proud of the fact that we are doing it but there is nothing else left for us

Rangers manager Walter Smith
on his defensive tactics

Smith was responding to questions about Rangers' successful defensive tactics, where they fielded five at the back in a formation that limited United to a few half-chances, chiefly shots from outside the box by Darron Gibson.

"Rangers and Celtic have handled the situation in the Uefa Cup, but it's very difficult for us to compete in the Champions League with the financial disparity," continued Smith, in his final year of management before retiring.

"Scottish teams are not in the position we were once in, where we could compete to sign the best players in the British Isles, so we have to find a way to nullify the opposition as best as we can.

"It's down to a manager to try to find a way. Unfortunately, in any walk of life it is easier to stop someone doing something than it is to actually create it.

"We don't feel proud of the fact that we are doing it but there is nothing else left for us."

Last season Rangers' only Champions League points were earned on the road, at Stuttgart and Unirea Urziceni.


And Smith was evidently satisfied to have something to show from the visit to Old Trafford.

After the goalless draw, he said: "I am obviously pleased to get a point in our first Champions League game. We were always going to have to work very hard for it and I thought we did that.

"I'm pleased with the way my boys handled it. They showed determination and concentration throughout the game.

"We restricted Manchester United to very few clear-cut opportunities, which was pleasing.

"My boys do that extremely well. No team could work harder than they do in that sense."

Smith, however, felt that had his players shown greater care they might have done more to trouble Tomasz Kuszczak in the United goal.

"I'm a bit disappointed that at times we weren't tidy enough in terms of our overall possession," was his blunt assessment.

"With a little bit more care we might have had better opportunities."

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see also
Gers fans' behaviour wins praise
15 Sep 10 |  Rangers
Naismith happy at Rangers' point
15 Sep 10 |  Rangers
Valencia may make February return
17 Sep 10 |  Man Utd
Ferguson expects Man Utd gripes
14 Sep 10 |  Man Utd
Man Utd 0-0 Rangers
14 Sep 10 |  Europe

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