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Page last updated at 23:04 GMT, Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Walter Smith pleased with Rangers' control

Rangers manager Walter Smith looks on from the Easter Road dugout
Smith (right) saw his side ease to victory at Easter Road

Rangers manager Walter Smith was satisfied with the way his side closed out their victory at Hibernian.

First-half goals from Madjid Bougherra and Nikica Jelavic put the visitors in a strong position and they held on for a comfortable 2-0 win.

"Hibs are struggling just now and we knew they would be lively and come at us," Smith told BBC Radio Scotland.

"I felt we played very well in the first half, maybe not as well as we did at Hearts the other day."

Smith was referring to the 1-0 defeat at Tynecastle at the weekend, a match Rangers dominated for long spells.

The Scottish Premier League champions recovered from that setback with some help from Hibs, who were guilty of poor defending at both goals.

The win at Easter Road keeps Rangers five points behind leaders Celtic, with two games in hand, after their Glasgow rivals hammered Hearts 4-0.

Hearts now trail the Ibrox outfit by five points, having played a game more, but Smith insists the men in maroon are still in the title hunt.

"You've got to say they are still in the championship race," said Smith, when asked about the challenge of Jim Jefferies' team.

"Hearts have had an excellent run, but now they have got to show they can bounce back.

"We had to do that tonight and we did it very well.

"To find the consistency to win a championship is a difficult task.

"For every team Rangers and Celtic play against it's a big game and you need to learn to handle that situation.

"Hibs, despite their position at the moment, showed a good spirit and determination and kept going the whole game.

"Overall, it was a good performance from us and we had a few opportunities in that first half to extend our 2-0 lead.

"And we managed to control the game after a 10 minute period in the second half when Hibs came at us and put us under pressure, while we didn't look like adding to our tally."

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see also
Hibernian 0-2 Rangers
26 Jan 11 |  Scottish Premier

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