Football

Smith focused on winning title

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Walter Smith was determined to put sentiment to one side until he delivers the Clydesdale Bank Premier League title for Rangers.

Tuesday night's 2-0 win over Dundee United was his final match as manager at Ibrox and the outgoing boss enjoyed an emotional lap of honour at the end of the game. But he insists his focus remains on the race for the championship after the Scottish champions moved four points clear with one game to go, ahead of Celtic's match at Hearts on Wednesday night.

Smith said: "Where we are just now, the focus is on trying to retain the championship again. As I've said over the last few weeks, I didn't think we would manage it and it's to the players' credit that we have got ourselves into the situation that we are in so we have to see it out now."

He added: "Hopefully we can do so but we will have to play as well as we did do tonight at Kilmarnock on Sunday."

Goals from Nikica Jelavic and Kyle Lafferty sealed the points against United as Rangers moved to within touching distance of the silverware.

Smith added: "Our aim when we got towards the end of the season was to win the three remaining games and we have won two of them now. Next we have an away match at Kilmarnock on Sunday where we can clinch the championship. It's in our own hands and that's the way we want it."

Rangers could be crowned SPL champions again on Wednesday night if Celtic lose and gift them the trophy.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon had urged United to "compete" against Rangers ahead of the match in the wake of 4-0 and 5-0 wins against Hearts and Motherwell for Smith's men in their previous two games.

United boss Peter Houston was quizzed on whether those comments put him or his players under any extra pressure ahead of the trip to Glasgow.

He said: "I know what I've got in that dressing room and I know myself as a person. I've never once set a team out not to try. Even if I tried to tell the players not to try, it would be embarrassing."

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Topics:
Kyle Lafferty
Football
Premier League
Neil Lennon

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