Rangers boss Smith defends Boyd role

The system had worked well for both Jean-Claude Darcheville and Daniel Cousin in Champions League matches this season, but eyebrows were raised when Boyd was deployed in the role for the visit of the Easter Road club in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

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Smith himself has conceded that Boyd operates more effectively with a strike partner and the plan failed to pay off for Rangers when David Murphy grabbed the only goal of the game with a header midway through the second half.

"That's the way I wanted to play," said the Rangers boss afterwards. "The situation is that we have a lot of players who are trying to find out what it's like to play Champions League games in midweek and then play in the SPL on a Saturday.

"I just felt it was better to change things and give Kris the opportunity. It's not ideal for him and I appreciate that fact.

"It was a game where Hibs played exactly the same formation as ourselves and neither team was able to get anybody close to that central striker, so it's a difficult task at times for players up there."

Smith added with a wry smile and a hint of sarcasm: "It's a brilliant thing being a football manager.

"Everyone talks about systems all the time - if you win it's a brilliant system, if you don't it's hopeless. So at the end of the day it was a hopeless system today.

"I'll leave everybody to make up their mind if it's a decent system that we play or not."

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