Football

Smith happy with draw

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Rangers manager Walter Smith was satisfied with a point against Hearts at Ibrox with his threadbare squad once again stretched to the limit for the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash.

Smith had been hopeful of a win against the Jambos which would have allowed the Scottish champions to move 12 points clear at the summit ahead of Celtic's meeting with St Johnstone on Sunday. But 10-man Hearts stunned their hosts when Scott Robinson netted just two minutes after the dismissal of Christian Nade, with only a last-minute strike from youngster Andrew Little rescuing a point for Rangers.

Smith said: "Before the game, you are always thinking you are at home and that you're going to win the games."

He added: "We don't drop that many points at home so, before the game, we would have been looking at it like that.

"But, in the context of the game and the way it went, we are happy to get a point in the end."

Smith had four youngsters - including Little - on the bench and 18-year-olds John Fleck and Danny Wilson in the starting line-up.

With Kris Boyd, Kenny Miller, Nacho Novo and Steven Naismith all injured, Kyle Lafferty was the only first-team striker available on a day when Rangers struggled to find the back of the net.

But Smith said: "Injuries happen to all the teams throughout the season and you have to cope with that.

"The difficulty that you have - and that we are having at the moment - is that you have to pitch people in who haven't been playing on a regular basis.

"They are not always up to full-match sharpness and that's one of the difficulties of having to do that. Against a team like Hearts, whose basis is a strong one, we would need everyone as sharp as they can be and when we did have a couple of opportunities we missed out."

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Topics:
Kyle Lafferty
Football
Premier League
Kenny Miller

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