Friday, January 28, 2022

Smith hopes to add to Rangers squad

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 17 Aug 2008


Rangers manager Walter Smith said his club may continue to spend in the transfer market despite the imminent arrival of two new players.

The Gers gaffer said there was one other position he would like to improve on as he unveiled that the Ibrox club had agreed deals with Major League Soccer outfit Toronto for defensive midfielder Maurice Edu and Fulham for Steven Davis.

With last week's capture of Pedro Mendes in a three million pound deal from Portsmouth and Aaron Niguez Esclapez on a two-year loan from Valencia Rangers now have plenty of options in midfield.

“Midfield was a position we needed to improve on in terms of our overall possession of the ball,” Smith said.

“It is an area we are a little bit short and an area we have been trying to adjust since the beginning of the season. We have had a little frustration in doing it but we are eventually getting there.

“If we do get those two players (Edu and Davis( there is maybe one other position we would like to improve on as well so you never know.

“It has been difficult enough trying to get in the players we have since the start of pre-season.”

And Smith said he hopes these new signings will help inspire his club to clinch their first league title in four years once they settle into the side.

The Rangers manager added: “There is always difficulty in terms of integrating new players into the team. We are getting a number of players in just now who have to get to know each other a little bit and play together a little bit.

“Hopefully over the next four or five weeks we will see it start to settle down a little bit. We had a disappointing start to the season but hopefully we can come out of that and be successful in our domestic campaigns this year.

“We would hope the addition of the midfield players will help us with this.”

On Saturday Rangers ran out 2-0 winners against ten-men Hearts at Ibrox thanks to a last minute penalty.

The Ibrox side took a first-half lead through Kyle Lafferty's first strike for the club.

The Northern Ireland striker made the breakthrough in the 38th minute with a shot from the edge of the box after great work down the right wing by Madjid Bougherra.

It took until the 47th minute for Hearts to finally test Rangers keeper Allan McGregor.

Andrew Driver skipped past Kirk Broadfoot before unleashing a powerful shot which McGregor could only push out to Andrius Ksanavicius, but the Lithuanian's rebound strike was straight at the keeper.

Hearts substitute Saulius Mikoliunas lasted just five minutes on the pitch after being sent off in the 73rd minute.

The Lithuanian had been booked for diving shortly after coming on before sliding into Kenny Miller with his studs showing for his second yellow card.

Hearts felt they had a penalty claim in the 87th minute when an Andrew Driver shot appeared to hit Bougherra on the arm but referee Stuart Dougal waved away the Hearts players' protests.

Rangers sealed the win in the last minute through a Kris Boyd penalty after Kenny Miller was fouled in the box following a mazy run.


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