Rangers focused despite SPL draw

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Rangers manager Walter Smith does not expect the loss of their 100% record in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League to have an impact on their Champions League clash against Valencia on Tuesday.

A win over Inverness at the weekend would have handed the Scottish champions their best start to a season in 112 years but they were denied their 10th consecutive SPL victory following a 1-1 draw.

Smith's men now turn their focus to their visit to Spain where they will attempt to maintain their unbeaten run in the Champions League against Valencia at the Mestalla.

"The result at the weekend was something we would have liked to have avoided," said Smith. "From our own point of view we have had a decent start to the season but hopefully we have got over it."

The La Liga side do not boast the most impressive domestic results ahead of the visit of Rangers but, again, Smith does not expect those matches to have any significance ahead of the European outings.

He said: "You mention Valencia's last two results but when you lose the players they lost in the close-season, it always takes a bit of time to find your feet. They did so exceptionally well in the early part but there was always going to be one or two problems.

"For the last few seasons, David Villa has been their top goalscorer and, when there was a little bit of a problem, he would do something special to win a game.

"Maybe in the last couple of games they haven't had that but overall they are still an extremely strong team and still the favoured team to go through in this competition."

Valencia's fans were clearly unhappy after their 1-1 draw with Real Zaragoza at the weekend and coach Unai Emery called for their backing and patience for this game.

"I don't think it's something we would be particularly looking to exploit," said Smith. "It's natural for any away team to try and frustrate the home support a little bit. It happens to us on a regular basis and it happens to the majority of teams.

"I don't think this game will be any different from that aspect."

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