Football

Smith won't blame loss on takeover

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Rangers manager Walter Smith refused to blame their Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat to Dundee United on the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the ownership of the club.

Businessman Craig Whyte's proposed takeover of the Scottish champions is expected to be resolved in the next day or so after months of negotiations. Smith called for a resolution to the situation on Friday but believes the headlines surrounding Rangers' off-field issues had little to do with their 3-2 loss at Ibrox.

"I don't think so, I don't think there is any problem in that respect," he said. "We have had those types of headlines for the last three years. For us, it's not a footballing issue."

He added: "The problem that we have - which has happened to us on a few occasions at home this season - is that we have managed to get in front and teams have pegged us back all too easily in the games.

"That's a factor that has been an ongoing problem for us."

Nikica Jelavic's opener was cancelled out by David Robertson on the stroke of half-time. Steven Naismith restored Rangers' lead shortly after the restart only for United to level for a second time through Johnny Russell.

Not satisfied with the point, the Tannadice side then sealed victory thanks to a last-minute strike from one-time Rangers target David Goodwillie, in his first game since signing a new deal with United.

United boss Peter Houston was thrilled with the reaction from his players following their midweek Scottish Cup defeat to Motherwell.

He said: "I don't think we could have asked for a better response. I've got a group of players who will respond and who have responded in the past to a couple of dodgy results.

"To twice come from behind against a good Rangers side shows their resilience and determination so I can't praise them highly enough."

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