Smith: Lafferty is learning

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Walter Smith believes Kyle Lafferty is finally beginning to settle at Rangers after the forward vowed to change for the better.

The Northern Ireland international has courted controversy since his move from Burnley and admitted he probably deserved some of the negative press he encountered. However, Lafferty spoke of his desire to become a reformed character after netting a hat-trick against Dunfermline in midweek, and Smith can see signs that the player genuinely wants to turn over a new leaf.

The Rangers manager said: "He can't run away from some of the things that have happened but he is facing up to them now and I think he realises he has to change, there is a challenge for him.I can see that he's consciously trying to change. On the football side, he just has to gain a level of consistency."

Smith added: "He has shown good bits in games and training and there has just been a bit of a lack of consistency in his play.

"It took a number of our players a period of time to settle down when they came in to meet the demands. Hopefully he can join those ones shortly."

One of the more high-profile incidents came against Sunday's opponents, Aberdeen, when Lafferty was retrospectively punished for feigning injury after a non-existent headbutt, which saw Charlie Mulgrew sent off.

Rangers have not won at Pittodrie since December 2006 and Kirk Broadfoot believes that record is down to Aberdeen raising their game against the Ibrox side.

He said: "I think it's just credit to Aberdeen, they've played very well against us but on a couple of occasions we've been unlucky with goals disallowed in the last minute that maybe would have won the match.

"Every team in the SPL raise their game against Rangers and Celtic. Maybe Aberdeen do more because the fans get right behind them and make it a good atmosphere and a good game.

"But it's another game in our eyes. They have done well against Rangers in the past and hopefully we can correct that this weekend."

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Kyle Lafferty
Charlie Mulgrew

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