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Page last updated at 13:52 GMT, Saturday, 2 October 2010 14:52 UK

Rangers redeemed themselves, says manager Walter Smith

Rangers players celebrating
The Rangers players celebrate Naismith's last-ditch winner

Walter Smith felt his Rangers side had emerged victorious from a potentially frustrating afternoon after claiming a dramatic win over Hearts at Tynecastle.

Having trailed through Rudi Skacel's opener, Rangers dug out a win with Kyle Lafferty levelling and Steven Naismith blasting home a 94th minute winner.

"We like to go and compete in games and we did so," Smith told BBC Scotland.

"We're absolutely delighted that we managed to win, albeit in the rather later stages in the game."

Victory at Tynecastle came at the end of a euphoric week for Rangers, who came back from two down to win at Aberdeen last Sunday before beating Champions League opponents Bursaspor on Wednesday.

"Maybe, similar to the game at Aberdeen, there was a wee bit of an aberration defensively for the first goal but we had most of the play and pushed Hearts back the way.

"In fairness, they defended extremely well throughout the game. Any time we did get past any of their defenders, the goalkeeper made some fantastic saves.

"It wasn't until late in the game that we were getting clear-cut opportunities to score.

"It's an afternoon that's had a great deal of delight for us at the end but there would've been a fair amount of frustration if we hadn't have won that game.

"The team have got a good determination about them, they've shown that, throughout the last two or three seasons.

"I'm delighted for all the boys because it's been a fantastic effort for us, considering the fact that's our third game in six days.

It was a nasty foul and he took a nasty kick. It might be something that will maybe cause him to miss the internationals

Walter Smith on Nikica Jelavic

"It's just a matter of trying to keep winning. We've shown a good spirit and determination in our game."

Hearts were unhappy that referee Craig Thomson penalised his namesake in the run up to Naismith's winner.

"If he didn't give it, it would maybe have been the first one that he didn't give because he gave every other free-kick all during the game so I don't see why there should be any change near the end but to be honest I don't know which one you're talking about," replied Smith when asked about the incident.

One of those free-kicks was awarded when Ian Black tripped Rangers' Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic and though the latter continued in the game, he was eventually replaced by Lafferty.

"It was a nasty foul and he took a nasty kick," said Smith.

"He seems to be okay. It might be something that will maybe cause him to miss the internationals this coming week."

As for two of Rangers' Scotland internationals, Smith is unsure whether the injuries that prevented Kirk Broadfoot and Lee McCulloch featuring at Tynecastle will also keep them out of national coach Craig Levein's squad for the games against Czech Republic and Spain.

"We'll have to wait and see whether it does or not but they'll report with the squad on Monday," added Smith.

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see also
Hearts 1-2 Rangers
02 Oct 10 |  Scottish Premier
Scots call on Gordon and Caldwell
30 Sep 10 |  Scotland

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