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Smith fires warning to sloppy Rangers defence

Rangers 2 Dundee Utd 3: Walter Smith admits Rangers have to toughen up defensively if they want to steer their Clydesdale Bank Premier League title bid back on track.

The Scottish champions squandered a golden opportunity to move top of the table on Saturday for the first time since Boxing Day.

With Celtic's game at Inverness postponed, a win over Dundee United would have seen Rangers leapfrog their rivals to the summit.

Instead, they were twice pegged back as goals from Nikica Jelavic and Steven Naismith were cancelled out by David Robertson and Johnny Russell before David Goodwillie grabbed a late winner to seal a 3-2 win for United.

Smith said: “It was obviously a disappointing result from us. Our performance wasn't bad at different times of the game in terms of our possession of the ball and passing.

“Dundee United were very tidy and played very well at times of the game as well and I thought it was a decent match.

“We are just really disappointed that we got ourselves in front and then lost a bad goal in the last minute of the first half. We managed to get in front again and, just when Dundee United were changing and having to push players forward, we managed to lose another goal.

“That was disappointing because, although Dundee United had bits of possession, they didn't have that many opportunities to score. Looking at the game, the opportunities they had really were the chances they scored.

“It was disappointing for us defensively.

“Losing goals in the last minute of the first half and of the game was the worst aspect of it.

“What we have to adjust to is the fact we have lost goals after getting in front on a number of occasions, instead of having the toughness to handle that situation.”

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