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Smith sees Australia trip as preparation for Rangers CL campaign

Walter Smith is confident Rangers will come good for their forthcoming Champions League campaign despite losing 1-0 to AEK Athens in the Sydney Festival of Football tournament. "I think this match can serve as a dress rehearsal for what we will face in the Champions League," Smith told the club's official website.

"Obviously there are clubs who are a level above ourselves and AEK, like Real Madrid and Manchester United, but I think playing Athens has given us a good indication of what we will face in the Champions League.

"So the fact that we countered them so well and played to our strengths was encouraging.

"I thought we played very well. We had a slow start and didn't do so well in the first 15 minutes but after that until we lost the goal when we had to chase the game we restricted their opportunities.

"We had some really good chances ourselves and we had a very good penalty claim turned down when Steven Whittaker was taken down."

After beating Blackburn Rovers and drawing with host club Sydney, a second half goal from AEK's Australian substitute Nathan Burns separated the teams.

However, Smith declared himself content with the trip.

He said: "Overall I was very pleased with the way we played. And that goes for the whole tournament.

"We did well in the Blackburn game - especially the first half - we played well for over an hour in this game and it was the conditions that affected us - and Sydney - in our game on Wednesday.

"So overall it was a good work out for us and the only disappointment is that we didn't win the game."

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