Smith confident for Portugal return

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Manager Walter Smith is confident Rangers have the ability to score the goals they need in Portugal after being held to a 1-1 draw by Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League at Ibrox on Thursday.

The Scottish champions had looked on course to claim the victory after Steven Whittaker handed the home side the advantage, before substitute Matias Fernandez came off the bench to grab a late leveller for the visitors.

Smith said: "If you are going on tonight's performance, there was not much between the teams. Overall, we created enough opportunities to make us think that we could get a goal over there. It depends on who plays best on the night. If we play the way we did for 35 minutes of the second half then I will be happy."

Sporting's results domestically have been lacking but they have impressed on the European stage and will be the happier of the two teams.

Smith was frustrated that his side failed to see out the game, with Sporting finding the back of the net with just a minute to go.

He added: "We were a little disappointed with the first half of the game, our possession was not quite as good as it should have been.

"In the second half we played well until we scored and then we allowed Sporting too much of the ball.

"It culminated in us losing a goal which is very disappointing. We just feel disappointed after dictating most of the second half that we missed out at the end which was a blow for us."

There was a setback for Rangers before a ball was even kicked when Jamie Ness, who was set to be named on the bench, was forced to withdraw from the squad after suffering an injury during the warm-up.

The youngster could now miss out on the crucial Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash against Celtic.

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