Football

Smith: Old Firm wins now vital

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Walter Smith admits Rangers are now under major pressure to salvage their Clydesdale Bank Premier League title hopes in their three remaining games against Celtic after dropping more points.

The Ibrox side headed into their lunchtime clash against Hearts trailing SPL leaders Celtic by four points and saw their hopes of wresting the championship from their bitter rivals suffer another major blow following the 2-1 defeat.

"Any points that we drop are a blow to us," said the Rangers boss. "It certainly means that in the three Old Firm games that are left this season, the pressure is heaped firmly onto ourselves."

He added: "But we deserve that because normally we handle set plays very well and we didn't do so.

"Normally, we defend very well and we gave two bad goals away to Dundee United recently and those little bits of inconsistency have plagued us in games."

Asked whether their remaining fixtures were all now must-win games, Smith added: "We have to win all our games anyway - it doesn't matter whether it is 'must-win' or whatever.

"We have to try to win all our games and Celtic's consistency adds to that. When you come to Rangers, you know in a domestic sense, you have to win all the games.

"This was typical. We were away from home and, territorially, had the vast majority of the game.

"We can only look at ourselves when we don't manage to create any real clear-cut opportunities in that time."

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