Smith backs Gers to come good

WALTER SMITH is confident Rangers can secure the win they need in Kaunas and book a place in the final qualifying round of the Champions League despite last night’s goalless stalemate at Ibrox.

But he warned against taking success in next week’s second leg in Lithuania for granted based purely on their epic European run last season.

Panathinaikos, Sporting Lisbon and Fiorentina all earned goalless draws in Glasgow only to be disposed of at home as Rangers progressed to the UEFA Cup final.

“If we can get ourselves in front we can be confident but it will be an awkward one,” said Smith.

“We have that confidence, there is no doubt. But I need to point out that because we had that success last season, it doesn’t mean it will happen this season. I feel as though we are capable of winning the game but I don’t like to keep looking back at last season, that’s finished, and we should look forward now.’’

Kenny Miller and Jean-Claude Darcheville both squandered decent opportunities to provide Rangers with the lead ahead of the second leg.

However, sharpness appeared to be a problem for a team embarking upon their first competitive outing against a side who stand top of the Lithuanian league after 15 games.

But Smith insisted: “There is no excuse really for us. With the importance of the fixture, I thought we would have started brighter.

“We didn’t and that’s something we will have to improve on.’’

RANGERS: McGregor, Dailly (Novo 45), Broadfoot, Weir, Papac, Whittaker, McCulloch, Thomson, Adam, Darcheville (Boyd 66), Miller (Velicka 73).

FBK KAUNAS: Kello, Radzius, Mendy, Kancelskis, Mrowiec, Luksa, Pilibaitis (Cinikas 83), Grigalevicius (Rimkevicius 68), Fridrikas, Zelmikas, Ledesma (Manchkhava 62).

Referee: Kevin Blom (Holland).

Last night’s other Champions League results.

Tampere United 1 — 3 Petrzalka, FC Sheriff 0 — 1 Sparta Prague, AaB Aalborg 5 — 0 FK Modrica, Beitar Jerusalem 2 — 1 Wisla Krakow, Fenerbahce 2 — 0 MTK Budapest, IFK Gothenburg 1 — 1 Basle, Anderlecht 1 — 2 BATE Borisov, Anorthosis 3 — 0 Rapid Vienna, NK Domzale 0 — 3 Dinamo Zagreb, Panathinaikos 3 — 0 Din. Tbilisi.

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