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Page last updated at 19:14 GMT, Sunday, 20 March 2011

Rangers happy to prove doubters wrong after Cup win

Rangers manager Walter Smith
Smith ensured his last season as Rangers manager will not end trophyless

Rangers manager Walter Smith described the Co-operative Insurance Cup final win over Celtic as one of his "best ever" victories.

Smith, coming to the end of his second spell in charge at Ibrox, clinched a 20th trophy as Rangers boss after the 2-1 extra-time win at Hampden.

"That was a great win," Smith told BBC Radio Scotland.

"I think people are inclined to write us off. It's great, there's nothing like a good challenge."

Having lost three of the last four Old Firm matches, Rangers were considered underdogs at Hampden but went ahead through Steven Davis' 24th minute strike.

Celtic levelled when Joe Ledley headed home but Smith's men moved into the lead again in extra time and Nikica Jelavic's goal proved to be the winner in the manager's last cup final as Rangers manager.

Smith lauds 'deserved' Cup victory

"It's not because it's the last one," said Smith of his joy. "It's because I think we've shown in the last few seasons that we're a team that have got a bit of pride about us and people are dismissing us just now.

"And I think that more than anything else is the thing that drives you on a wee bit. It's always driven me on, to prove that you can win. For me, that's the main thing.

"They've shown a lot. We've not been in the best of conditions over the piece but when they're presented with a challenge they do that.

"For me, that was probably one of my best ever wins."

Rangers remain in contention for a League Cup and Scottish Premier League double and Smith hopes the Hampden win over Celtic will spur his side on to retain the championship.

"There's still a bit to go," stated Smith. "At least we've shown people that there is still a bit to go in us. We lost a big player in Madjid Bougherra, we managed to handle it. Terrific."

Rangers captain David Weir
Weir has been at Rangers throughout Smith's second spell as manager

Bougherra went off injured towards the end of regulation time and David Weir held together a makeshift back four for the remainder of the contest.

"It was a great game, a great advert for Scottish football and I think everybody put a lot into it," said Rangers captain Weir. "It's tough on them but we're going to enjoy it.

"It means everything, that's what we're here for. We've been written off and told all the things we can't do. It's just sweet, it's very sweet.

"I just had a wee feeling we were going to win."

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see also
Smith lauds 'deserved' Cup victory
20 Mar 11 |  Scotland
Rangers score joyous for Smith
20 Mar 11 |  Rangers
Mjallby credits Celtic endeavour
20 Mar 11 |  Celtic
Celtic 1-2 Rangers (aet)
20 Mar 11 |  Scottish Cups
Photo gallery - Celtic v Rangers
20 Mar 11 |  Scotland
League Cup final as it happened
20 Mar 11 |  Scottish Cups

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