Rangers boss Smith delighted with match-winner Novo

The first leg of Gers' final qualifier against Crvena Zvezda looked set to end in stalemate at Ibrox tonight following a stubborn display from the Serbian champions.

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But Novo proved to be the difference between the two sides when he came off the bench to claim the only goal of the game in the last minute.

Smith said: "Novo's a lively character with pace who is a good option to bring on because he can take advantage of the opposition when they are tiring.

"He has done that in the last few games and we hope that continues.

"We were pleased to see the goal going in as it was such a tight game - the next leg will tell us whether it makes a difference or not."

The victory allowed Rangers to maintain their 100% record from competitive matches. They now boast five wins out of five with nine goals in their favour and none against.

Smith is confident his side now have the defensive foundation that will see them through to Europe's top club competition - even if that means winning ugly.

"We have shown that we are a difficult team to score goals against even if we aren't the most pleasing on the eye," said Smith.

"We have won all our games so far and we are tough to break down. The players are working hard and there is a good foundation there.

"The one aspect that can't be criticised is that we are working hard."

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