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Page last updated at 21:45 GMT, Thursday, 24 February 2011

Rangers manager Smith delighted to progress in Europe

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Progress not inconvenient for Smith

Rangers boss Walter Smith was pleased to boost Scottish clubs' European coefficient after ousting Sporting.

The away-goals win over Sporting set up a last 16 tie with PSV Eindhoven.

"We'd never consider it to be an inconvenience, qualifying through a European round, and we're pleased to have done so," said Smith.

"It's a pressure that's on Scottish clubs to try to do as well as we possibly can so that our coefficient level to its highest level possible."

Having been held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg, Rangers had to score in Lisbon to keep their European hopes alive and took the lead on the night through El Hadji Diouf.

Pedro Mendes's leveller on the night and Yannick Djalo's header turned the tie in Sporting's favour.

The circumstances that surround the club are totally different now than when we were in the Uefa Cup final a few years ago

Walter Smith

But Rangers pressed for a decisive goal and were rewarded when Maurice Edu tapped home to take the aggregate score to 3-3, the Ibrox side moving ahead on away goals.

"We're obviously pleased to get through," said Smith.

"Obviously, with the circumstances of the away goal, we're pleased to have got that one and managed to get through.

"I felt in the first half of the game, we started rather slowly but then came into the game, played very well for a period in which we managed to get a goal.

"And then Sporting were the better side for the last 15 minutes of the first half. In the second half, there wasn't much between the teams at all."

Kyle Lafferty, Maurice Edu and David Healy
Edu (centre) kept Rangers in Europe with a late goal in Lisbon

Rangers will next face Dutch side PSV, who beat Lille 5-3 on aggregate, but Smith was not drawn on how he considered the Ibrox side's chances of going far in the competition.

"For PSV Eindhoven, that's a terrific result," added Smith. "Lille are doing exceptionally well in the French league this season.

"PSV are doing well in their league as well, they're obviously having a very good season, so that'll be an extremely difficult match.

"The circumstances that surround the club are totally different now than when we were in the Uefa Cup final a few years ago. But, as I said before, you can only try and get through and win the games as they come along.

"We have to wait and see how the season unfolds before we see if there'll be any great impact on it. I don't think you can pick and choose."



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see also
Sporting 2-2 Rangers (agg 3-3)
24 Feb 11 |  Rangers
Rangers 1-1 Sporting
17 Feb 11 |  Rangers
McCoist to become Rangers manager
22 Feb 11 |  Rangers


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