FOOTBALL : Rangers manager Walter Smith was encouraged by positives he saw against Dundee United – even though the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash lasted just 45 minutes.
Rangers manager Walter Smith was encouraged by positives he saw against Dundee United – even though the Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash lasted just 45 minutes.
Referee Mike Tumilty abandoned the match after inspecting the pitch at half-time amid fears that a player could be seriously injured as a torrential downpour at Tannadice worsened. The Scottish champions would have been the more aggrieved of the two teams that the game was called to a halt after heading into the interval ahead thanks to a Steven Davis goal.
But Smith was happy enough with what he saw against an impressive United, and said: “They weren’t easy circumstances and I felt Dundee United started the game really well.”
He added: “For the first 20 minutes or so they were really aggressive in getting the ball forward and playing the ball into the box and they were dangerous at set-plays.
“We had to work very hard to stop them in that period and once we got the goal I felt that towards the end of the half we came into the game a little bit and had a couple of opportunities ourselves.”
The Rangers boss singled out Danny Wilson for praise, with the teenager again acquitting himself well after retaining his place in the team following the midweek Co-operative Insurance Cup win over Dundee.
“I was pleased in that early period of the game with the way he handled himself,” said Smith.
“At 17, it’s not easy to come in and play. He has handled himself well.”
However – with Madjid Bougherra and Lee McCulloch both still struggling with injuries – he was tight-lipped on whether he thinks Wilson is ready to be pitched into the massive Champions League game against Unirea Urziceni in midweek.
“I don’t know,” he said. ” We will see once we get nearer to Wednesday night.”