Smith hopes Gers hit back

How much will Euro heartache take out of Rangers?

Walter Smith is hoping that Rangers' Uefa Cup final defeat does not derail their end of season run-in.

The Gers slumped to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg on a disappointing European night at the City of Manchester Stadium.

However, despite Wednesday's heartache Smith's side can still wrap up an impressive treble should they go on to take the SPL title and Scottish FA Cup in the coming weeks.

The former Scotland boss admits that his squad feel despondent at the moment, but is confident that they will pick themselves up for the remaining four fixtures of a remarkable 2007/08 campaign.


"Obviously it'll be difficult to judge how much the disappointment takes out of them," Smith said.

"But we have an opportunity with four games to go to win two (more) trophies.

"We hope they can overcome the disappointment of tonight's game and not let it affect them too badly."

Smith saw his side put up a brave fight against Zenit in Manchester, but insists that he has already set his sights on putting things right on the domestic stage.

"There's no way we can say we didn't want to do well in the Uefa Cup," he said.

"We're obviously disappointed to lose this evening but we have the opportunity to make up for this in the next few days."


Rangers' immediate target is to snatch the SPL title away from arch-rivals Celtic - and Smith admits that taking the league crown has become their priority.

"It's the most important thing now," he added.

"If we can win our next three games we'll be champions and obviously we'll be happy with that."

Newly-crowned Uefa Cup holders Zenit are managed by former Rangers boss Dick Advocaat, and the Dutchman felt that his side were deserving of the victory on the night.

"I think, especially second-half, when we keep playing the passing game we caused a lot of energy and we saw a moment open and we scored two brilliant goals," he said.

"Over 90 minutes I think we were the better team and deserved to win."