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Smith cool on talk of qualifying for CL knockout stage

Rangers boss Walter Smith is still being realistic of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Champions League despite being joint top of Group C. The Govan club had failed to win their previous 12 Champions League games and lost all three home group games last season, facts which were highlighted in the build-up to the game.

"This group will always be a problem for us," Smith said.

"You can't pick up your paper and read about our Champions League record and say it's all changed, it has not.

"Everyone was quick to point to our previous results, then all of a sudden we get a result and you say, 'that's great that you are at the top'.

"After the experience we have had in the Champions League, especially last year, to get a draw at Manchester United and win your first home game, you are delighted about the position you are in but it doesn't change our thoughts in the group.

"We know we have to play particularly well if we are to have any hope of qualifying out of this group.

"We know the difficulties, the next three games are against the two favoured teams in the section.

"I'm sure Manchester United and Valencia would have been most people's favourites to remain in the Champions League so we're just happy to win and gain a little bit of confidence.

"From my point of view the team worked very hard and in the two games we have had we haven't given up any opportunities.

"We will have to remain on top of all the aspects of the game if we are to do anything.

"Everyone knows we have a hard struggle ahead and we look forward to it."

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