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CL failure helping Rangers in SPL championship race

Rangers boss Walter Smith admits crashing out of the Champions League has helped boost Rangers' SPL campaign. The Ibrox side moved back into pole position thanks to convincing wins over St Johnstone, Dundee United and Motherwell, which saw them net an impressive 12 goals in those three matches.

And he believes it is no coincidence the transformation in fortunes occurred immediately after the final Champions League game in Sevilla brought to an end a dismal European campaign.

"I think there is something in that," said Smith.

"I don't think there is any doubt that, when you are in the midst of the Champions League and it's going well, it's great.

"If you're not doing so well, it's really unforgiving and it's a big test for everyone. I think that showed at times for us. Since that has been put to bed, we have settled down a little bit.

"The settling-down period after the disappointment of the Champions League has probably contributed to the consistency of play more than anything else."

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