Smith ready to progress
Gers up for Sporting clash
Last Updated: April 9, 2008 6:09pm
Smith: Confident mood
Walter Smith admits Rangers are almost expecting to progress in the Uefa Cup on Thursday.
His comments come ahead of his side's trip to Sporting Lisbon for the second leg of their quarter-final clash.
The first leg in Glasgow ended goalless and now a huge band of Gers fans have made the trip to the Portuguese capital in expectant mood.
"There's a growing expectation from everyone at the club, including the management and the players," said Smith, who has already seen his side dispatch of Panathinaikos and Werder Bremen in the Uefa Cup this year.
"Hopefully we can match that in terms of the supporters having an expectation. That's something the team has to strive to match.
"We've got a new squad so we don't really know how we'll react but we have been reacting very well in the competitions that we're in at the present moment and we hope that continues.
"We just have to wait and see. We've no pedigree as a team so we'll have to try to forge one."
Smith is not underestimating Sporting - who have a good recent record in the competition after losing in the 2005 final.
"We know them all well enough now and they have players who can cause a team damage from different positions on the field.
"We're well aware of the danger they can cause any team. I think the result in Scotland makes it a very evenly-balanced tie.
"As we have seen in a lot of games, the away goal is something that is an important factor in settling a lot of the ties when they are as close as the game at Ibrox was.
"We are hopeful we can get goals away from home as we have done in a number of games."
Smith also admitted that Daniel Cousin would be involved after he completed his recovery from a broken jaw.
"It will be a boost for us having him back," Smith said.
"He's played very well in the European games that we've had.
"He'll obviously be short of match practice. He's been able to keep up his level of fitness but has had no real football in the last four or five weeks.
"That's a little bit of a problem for us but he will feature in the game."