Football

Smith expects Bougherra appearance

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Rangers manager Walter Smith expects Madjid Bougherra to report back for training at Murray Park on Sunday and to be available for selection for Tuesday's Champions League game.

But the defender is not guaranteed to be drafted back into the team for the visit of Stuttgart, with Smith saying he would have no problem keeping Danny Wilson in the side instead.

Speaking after Saturday's 3-0 win over Kilmarnock, Smith said: "Madjid will be in training on Sunday and I would imagine he would be available for us [for Tuesday] but we will have to see how he is after his midweek game."

Bougherra was once again late returning from international duty after helping Algeria qualify for next summer's World Cup finals.

He previously missed a Clydesdale Bank Premier League game at St Johnstone in October after claiming his return to Glasgow had been delayed when his possessions, including his passport, were stolen.

Bougherra has not played for the Scottish champions since September, during which time 17-year-old Wilson has made his breakthrough to the first team and earned plenty of plaudits for his performances so far.

"I haven't seen him yet," added Smith. "He's not spoken to anyone but I take it he is okay. Normally if they are injured, they let us know. He hasn't done so so I take it he is all right."

Wilson was particularly impressive on his Champions League debut when Rangers earned a 1-1 draw with Unirea Urziceni in Bucharest earlier this month.

Smith added: "He has been playing really well and for a young lad to come and play the four games that he has, in the manner he has, there is no problem there. It's not a problem.

"I'm the one who is charged with looking after his career at the present moment so we will see. He has handled one Champions League game extremely well and I don't see any great reason why he shouldn't be able to handle another one."

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Topics:
European News
Football
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Madjid Bougherra
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