Smith admits strain telling

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Rangers manager Walter Smith admits he may have asked too much of his players in recent matches but insists there were no excuses for their 3-0 defeat to Hibernian at Ibrox.

Goals from Liam Miller, John Rankin and Francis Dickoh sealed the shock win for Hibs and inflicted a first Clydesdale Bank Premier League defeat of the season on the Scottish champions.

Asked if fatigue was a factor, Smith said: "You can always use tiredness but it's not an excuse. You have to give credit to Hibs for the manner in which they played. That's the main aspect."

He added: "Over the last four or five games, I've maybe asked too much of too many, I should maybe have changed the team around a little bit.

"We didn't have the required sharpness to break down a Hibs team who were playing exceptionally well.

"At the end of the day, we've got no complaints. Hibs played very well and worked very hard on the evening and deserved their win."

Celtic also lost to Hearts as Rangers retained their single point advantage at the summit but Smith took little comfort from the events at Tynecastle.

He said: "That's not got much to do with it. I've said before that teams will drop points.

"After the first quarter of the season we have lost one game and drawn one and that's a fairly normal situation to be in. We obviously don't want it and we certainly didn't want to lose the game.

"We've had warnings, in the previous home match against Inverness we were very similar in that we had a lot of possession of the ball but the required edge was missing. That's something we have to adjust and, from my side of things, I've maybe been a little bit slow to change the team around."

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