Smith joy at ninth SPL title

Celebrating boss delighted with the character of his players

Smith: Uncertain future

Smith: Uncertain future

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Rangers manager Walter Smith believes his ninth Scottish Premier League title felt like the hardest to win, but he would not be drawn on his future.

Kyle Lafferty's 17th minute goal ensured Rangers retained the league silverware thanks to a 1-0 win at Hibernian on Sunday.

For Smith, who has been working without a contract and has been unable to sign players due to the club's financial problems, it marks a significant achievement.

The former Scotland boss, who returned to Ibrox for a second spell in charge in 2007, told Sky Sports 3: "It seems to have been one of the hardest. But then again maybe I feel like this after every one of them.

Determination

"I am just delighted we have managed to get two in a row."

Smith has been pleased with his squad's commitment and character after a campaign filled with controversy.

He said: "We have asked an awful lot over the season, but they have been fantastic and they thoroughly deserve this.

"There is a great deal of character. You see today there was a bit of tiredness, players like Steven Davis who have given us everything over the season just to get us where we were before today's game.

"We weren't at our best today, but we got there in the end. It has been something that you can always say about the team, their determination has been fantastic."

Speculation

Speculation has suggested that Smith will leave Rangers in the summer and he did not want to comment on the subject.

Asked if he still has the appetite to attempt a third title win since his return to Ibrox, he said: "It always gives you an appetite. That's what you're in it for to win games."

Rangers captain David Weir hailed Smith as key to the title wins.

"He's the man," Weir said.

"From where Rangers were three years ago - struggling for second place, now champions in consecutive years - I can't speak highly enough of him."

Northern Ireland striker Lafferty said: "Today has just been brilliant - the lads worked hard and look what it means to the fans, all the players and the coaching staff."