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Walter Smith’s putting Europe to the back of his mind

Walter Smith is determined to ensure the full focus of his players is on today's Clydesdale Bank Premier League game at Hamilton (12pm) even though one of their biggest games of the season is looming in just a few days time.

The Champions League campaign kicks off on Tuesday with the most difficult of all the matchdays, as the Scottish champions prepare to travel to Old Trafford to face group favourites Manchester United.

Smith is well aware that such an encounter is one every single player in his dressing room will relish but he was also keen to provide a timely reminder of the importance of the domestic campaign.

The Ibrox chief insists none of his players will have one eye on Europe ahead of the lunchtime kick-off at New Douglas Park.

“I don't think so because I don't feel as though we have the proper focus in terms of our domestic games,” he said.

“That's something we have to adjust to first and foremost.

“I'll probably speak to Sir Alex but we've both got tough away games this weekend so we'll let those games be over before we start to think about the Champions League.”

Smith says the international break just past is likely to have more of an impact on the side he selects for the clash with Accies today.

“What will affect the team selection more is the boys who have been away playing in the two international games more than anything else,” he said.

“Those who are available for us all trained this morning and they are looking all right.

“It's the early part of the season so it may be that we won't make too many changes to the team from the previous outing.

“If you're an international player, you've got a lot of games to fit in.”

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph