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Rangers manager Walter Smith boosted by new players

David Healy celebrates scoring on his debut for rangers
David Healy celebrates scoring on his debut for Rangers

Kyle Bartley, David Healy and El Hadji Diouf were praised by Rangers manager Walter Smith after they helped his team to a 6-0 win over Motherwell.

The new arrivals found form at Ibrox in a game in which Nikica Jelavic, not long back from injury, scored a hat-trick to keep the pressure on Celtic.

"We've three new players in. We have to give them a chance to play, integrate them into the team," said Smith.

"They've been working hard to get up to speed and we are delighted with them."

The victory puts Rangers two points behind Scottish Premier League leaders Celtic, though Smith's side have a game in hand. Motherwell, on 28 points, have half as many as the Glasgow side.

"We played very well today," Smith told BBC Scotland.

"It was only a couple of weeks ago that Motherwell made it very difficult for us in the semi-final of the Co-operative Insurance Cup.

"We managed to get a goal early on, which settled us down. Then after 20 minutes Motherwell had their best spell of the game, at the end of which we scored with a break-away. I'm delighted with the win."

Asked if the arrival of three new faces at Ibrox, and the return of Jelavic after an ankle injury, might change the way his team play, Smith said: "We will just have to wait and see."

Bartley was drafted in from Arsenal with a reputation as a versatile defender. Smith positioned him in front of his back four of Madjid Bougherra, Steven Whittaker, Davie Weir and Sasa Papac.

The veteran manager added: "Kyle Bartley played very well in a midfield role.

"It's always good to know we have a player who is adaptable enough to play in a couple of positions.

Kyle Bartley played in midfield for Rangers
On-loan defender Bartley played in midfield at Ibrox

"He's got a physical presence, strong in the tackle and quick. He has a good basis to become a very good player.

"We hope to make the most of him from now until the end of the season."

Northern Ireland striker Healy has made no secret of his passion for the club and he marked his first appearance with a second-half goal, the others coming from Steven Naismith and a Shaun Hutchinson own-goal.

"David Healy getting a goal was a big thing for him," said Smith.

"He has always wanted to play for the club and he has managed to get a goal on his debut.

"El Hadji Diouf played very well today. He can take the ball and he lets us get up the pitch. Our job is to make up for the disappointment of losing Kenny Miller."

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see also
Rangers 6-0 Motherwell
12 Feb 11 |  Scottish Premier
Old Firm bosses on games pile-up
11 Feb 11 |  Scottish Premier

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