Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Smith silent on his Rangers future

Walter Smith insists the turmoil currently enveloping Rangers is not the most troublesome period he has endured at the club.

Speculation about the future of Rangers has reached fever pitch following Smith's claim that the Light Blues' spending was now being controlled by Lloyds Banking Group.

Speaking after Saturday's 1-1 Scottish Premier League home draw with Hibernian, which ultimately saw them lose top spot in the table to Old Firm rivals Celtic, Smith also revealed he believed “the players at the club have been up for sale since January”.

Rangers issued a statement on Sunday night, confirming there had been tentative enquiries to buy the club which is reported to be £25million in debt.

They also insisted the bank was being supportive and, as a consequence, “there is no need for the club to sell assets during the January transfer window”.

Smith's contract runs out in January and consequently his own future is uncertain.

He refused to answer questions about the club's assertion that no players need to be sold and played down the difficulty of the position he finds himself in ahead of tonight's Co-operative Insurance Cup quarter-final tie against First Division Dundee at Dens Park.

Asked if he was finding it the hardest period he has had as Rangers manager, Smith replied: “No, there have been other periods when I was manager before.

“The hardest thing is the disappointing results, never mind anything else.

“That's the thing that we, on the footballing side, have to relate to as much as anything else.

“We have to recover although, attack-wise, it was one of our better performances of the season against Hibs.

“I don't think that anyone can say that the negativity won't have an effect but at the same time it is maybe just one of a number of things that have been a problem that we have to overcome.”

Smith was happier to discuss the trip to Tayside to face the Irn-Bru First Division leaders.

“We will go to Dundee where we will get an extremely tough game,” he said.

“They went to the top of the league at the weekend and they will look forward to SPL opposition.

“They beat Aberdeen in the last round so we have to go there in the proper manner.

“We have not lost a League Cup tie since we came back, apart from a League Cup final against Celtic, so we need to keep it going.

“Games are coming thick and fast but the concentration will be on tomorrow's game and it will be an opportunity for one or two of our youngsters, like Danny Wilson, to get a start in the team.”

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