Smith expects tough run-in
Gers boss foresees no let-up in title challenge
Last Updated: April 20, 2009 5:46pm
Smith: Difficult run-in
Rangers manager Walter Smith reckons the narrow victory over Hibernian shows the scale of the task facing his side in the title run-in.
Hibs managed to squeeze into the top six before the post-split fixtures were announced and made the Gers work hard for a 3-2 victory at Easter Road on Sunday.
And Smith does not expect any let-up from their opponents in the final five games as Rangers aim to wrest the title from Celtic's grasp.
"I think Sunday's game showed the difficulty we have," he said.
"There will be some really tough games between now and the end of the season.
"Hibs are the team who have qualified in sixth place and that was a really competitive game."
Steven Whittaker's early opener was cancelled out by Steven Fletcher, and goals from Andrius Velicka and Maurice Edu put Rangers back in front before John Rankin set up a nervy finish for the visitors.
"I felt the game was fairly even in the first half and 1-1 was a reasonable reflection on play at half-time," said Smith.
"In the second half we played a little bit better and getting the second goal was a big thing for us and we added another one.
"But, in the way some of our games have been going this season, we didn't hold on to that and it was an excellent hit from John Rankin to put us under a little bit of pressure at the end of the game.
"We were delighted to win because it's always difficult to come here and do so."
Rangers now host Hearts and Celtic in their next two league games and both have taken points at Ibrox earlier in the campaign.
"We are happy to be getting home games," Smith added.
"We will have to do better against both the teams we play at home than we did in the home matches we have already played them in this season.
"But we are happy enough to be playing at Ibrox at the start of the five games."