Boss Walter Smith paid tribute to Vladimir Weiss after his man-of-the-match performance helped Rangers claim an emphatic 4-1 win at Motherwell.

The victory was their first in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park in almost four years and allowed the Scottish champions to remain in pole position in the title race.

Steven Saunders netted an own goal and Kenny Miller grabbed a double but it was Weiss - who was also on the scoresheet - who stole the show with one of his best performances in a Rangers jersey since his arrival on loan from Manchester City.

His efforts did not go unnoticed by Smith, who said: "He played very well for us today and we are delighted about that. I thought he did very well.

"He's a young man and when you are in a situation like that when you're on loan from another club, it's always awkward for a young player to handle the situation overall.

"But he has been doing that for us and he has been showing bits of some real skill. He's had a little bit of a struggle for consistency but that happens to all players of that type.

"He was excellent today and I'm delighted for him. He's been on loan from his own club on a few occasions now and he is looking to get a bit of stability.

"He plays on the wider area of the pitch and I'm never sure if that's his best position but that's where he has mainly been playing for us.

"He has shown some skill and maybe lacked consistency but that can come from not having the amount of football that he would have liked over the last two or three seasons.

"He has an opportunity to play here and he has been involved far more for us than he has been in the other places. I'm delighted to see him playing in the manner in which he did today."

The only negative for Rangers was the sight of Steven Naismith limping out of the action shortly before half-time with a hamstring strain.

He is now rated doubtful for the midweek visit to St Johnstone but it is too soon to tell whether he will be available for next weekend's Old Firm derby.

Smith said: "He just felt his hamstring. I think it was coming from the base of his back so we will just have to wait and see how it is but I don't think it's too bad.

"We will know better tomorrow. I would say he would certainly be doubtful for Wednesday's game but any further than that, I'm not sure."

Motherwell's own game-plan was dealt a blow when Tom Hateley was forced out of the action around the same time as Naismith and was violently sick after leaving the park, having picked up a bug.

His replacement, John Sutton, did pull a goal back shortly after the restart but interim boss Gordon Young admitted his side were out-classed on the day.

He said: "I definitely think the best team won. We could have passed the ball better, retained the ball better but I take full responsibility. Fortunately for Rangers, they had a bit more firepower than us."

Motherwell's search for a new manager continues and Young believes they will be back on top form once they find Craig Brown's successor.

He added: "I believe they have been speaking to candidates today. I know they are not rushing it.

"I feel sorry for the players because they have done well all season and there is no reason why they can't bounce back.

"The minute we get someone in, I'm sure they will perform as well as they have all season."


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