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Rest of SPL are no pushovers, says Rangers boss Smith

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Rangers manager Walter Smith

Rangers manager Walter Smith

Rangers manager Walter Smith

Rangers boss Walter Smith claims not enough credit is given to teams outside of the Old Firm.

Rangers' bid to wrap up the Clydesdale Bank Premier League championship as soon as possible suffered a setback when they lost 4-1 at St Johnstone on Tuesday.

The defeat came less than a week after Smith's men were knocked out of the Active Nation Scottish Cup by Dundee United, on the same night St Mirren thumped Celtic 4-0.

Much of the reaction to those defeats has centred on the negative aspect of the Old Firm's performances.

However, as Rangers prepare to face Billy Reid's Hamilton at Ibrox tomorrow, Smith reiterated that teams outside Glasgow's big two are more than capable of causing problems — in the short term at least.

Smith, whose side were taken to extra time in a Scottish Cup replay against Hamilton last month, said: “We've scored against Accies in the past but we've also struggled to get them at times as well.

“Managers in Scotland have done an excellent job and that applies to Billy Reid too. He organises his teams very well.

“Hamilton are always difficult to play against. They have proved that over the last couple of seasons.

“They've got a lot of younger lads in their pool who are doing very well and they make things very difficult.

“I keep saying that people don't appreciate how difficult it is to overcome the sides we come up against.

“Because we and Celtic collectively have won so many championships, they underestimate the other teams.

“Looking in from the outside in Scotland, some just assume we turn up and win games but they don't understand it isn't that simple.

“Anyone who comes up here from England to work will testify that it's not as simple as some people believe,” the Rangers boss added.

Belfast Telegraph