Football

Rangers boss celebrates 'special' title

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Walter Smith secured his ninth title for Rangers with a dramatic 1-0 victory over Hibernian in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League - then admitted this one was "a wee bit special".

The waiting was finally over for the Scottish champions as they sealed their second consecutive title at Easter Road with three games to go thanks to a Kyle Lafferty goal. Smith is no stranger to winning silverware, having guided Rangers to seven of their nine in a row championships in the 1990s, but against a backdrop of financial woes and uncertainty over the future ownership of the club, he says this particular achievement stands out.

"You always feel grateful for the fact that you've won a trophy and you are in this position, as Rangers teams are a lot of the time," said Smith. "But this one is maybe a little bit different from the others we have had because of the circumstances surrounding the club and the difficulties we have faced."

He added: "You enjoy anything you win but this one is a wee bit special for everyone involved."

Smith has not bought a player since the arrival of Maurice Edu from Toronto in August 2008 and he added: "We've got a good group of players, we just don't have a lot of them in terms of the size of group that's needed for a club like Rangers.

"That's what maybe separates it from a lot of the other championships I've been fortunate enough to win. It's a small group and it's maybe been a little bit against the odds.

"We are really pleased to win it and I'm delighted for the group of players. I've had to ask a lot of them this season and you could see, even here, they have lost a little bit of the brightness they had in the early part of the season.

"We've had to keep asking them to come back and play and they have done so. They have been fantastic. For the consistency they have achieved, they deserve enormous credit.

"When we've been under a little bit of pressure, we have managed to win through. They have been a resilient bunch and a difficult bunch to beat.

"This season we had a lead and it seems for the last six weeks or so that everybody has been telling us we are going to win the championship and it's always a great relief when you do."

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Topics:
Kyle Lafferty
Football
Premier League

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