Smith glad to avoid Euro hangover

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Rangers manager Walter Smith expressed relief at maintaining the Ibrox side's 100% record in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League after a tough shift against Manchester United in the Champions League.

Smith felt their efforts in Europe last term had a negative impact on their league form and was concerned the goalless stalemate at Old Trafford midweek could hamper their chances against Dundee United. However, he believes the 4-0 win at Ibrox was Rangers' best showing of the season.

"The Champions League games are ones, for us, where you need to expend a lot of energy," he said. "There is mental tiredness as well because you need to keep a level of concentration for a hell of a long period so you always concern yourself a little. Last season, we dropped a number of points after coming back from Champions League games and you are aware of that aspect. So we are delighted with the way things turned out."

A Sean Dillon own-goal set the ball rolling early on, before Kenny Miller doubled the advantage. Steven Naismith then came off the bench to find the back of the net and Miller completed the win with his second of the day late one.

Smith added: "We are pleased with the win. I felt overall it was probably our best league performance since we started the season and we were delighted by the way we played.

United boss Peter Houston was disappointed with the lack of fight his players showed after Rangers' second goal.

"For 70 minutes, we were right in the game," he said.

"We did okay, we had plenty of possession and a couple of sniffs at goal but after the second goal we retreated and accepted defeat and that was disappointing.

"We need to get mentally tough and get back into the game, rather than accept defeat."

Houston revealed afterwards that defender Garry Kenneth was forced out of the action at half-time with a calf injury, while David Goodwillie was withdrawn late on after suffering a knock that has yet to be fully assessed.

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European News
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Kenny Miller

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