Davis calls for Smith stay

Midfielder hopes manager will remain at Ibrox

Smith: Praised by players

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Steven Davis believes it is 'vital' for Rangers to keep hold of manager Walter Smith.

Smith has been unable to buy a new player for nearly two years and the uncertain financial situation of the club means he has been working without a contract since January.

However, he has still managed to guide Rangers to the verge of another SPL title and midfielder Davis hopes he will remain in charge for next season.

Asked whether he wants to see Smith stay at the Ibrox helm, Davis replied: "100% for me. I've thoroughly enjoyed working with him and I think it's vital he stays.

"It will be a great achievement [to win the title], especially for the manager.

"I'm sure at times he would have liked to sign a couple of players to freshen things up and boost the squad.

"He's had to end up selling players and the squad has probably been weakened by that.

"But we've managed to get great team spirit in the squad and that's something that has shone through this season."

Weir

Smith has also been praised by Rangers defender David Weir, who says the manager has done well to shield the players from the much-publicised financial crisis at Ibrox.

"That has been a factor but the way the manager has managed the club, it has not really been a factor for the players," Weir said.

"He has managed the situation - he has managed the football team and he has managed the football club as well and he has kept the two separate.

"Players have never had that as an influence and never needed to use that as an excuse. Sometimes it's easy to grab an excuse if it's there and use it as an excuse not to be successful.

"The way the manager has handled it, it has never played a part and we've never had it as an easy way out."

Weir has postponed talks about his future until the summer and the 39-year-old admits that much will depend on Smith's personal situation.

"He has been a big part of my career and he is a massive part of the football club as well," said the former Everton player.

"He is the reason the football club is as successful as it is.

"I think that will play a big part in everyone's decision, given how well the manager is thought of and how successful he is."