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RANGERS ARE READY FOR TITLE CHALLENGE, INSISTS SMITH

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WALTER SMITH reckons Rangers will go the distance and derail the Celtic juggernaut that has a historic 10 successive titles in their sights.

The champions are 11 points behind the Ibrox side although they have two precious games in hand that could help cut back Steven Gerrard’s side’s advantage.

But former Gers boss Smith, who had two stints in charge at the club, believes the present side are relishing the challenge of ending the spectacular sequence from their Glasgow rivals they have already beaten 2-0 in the Premiership at Parkhead last month.

The ex-Scotland international supremo insisted Gerrard’s men have the qualities to see through their task and win the club their first top-flight championship since 2011.

Smith, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Results are good, everything is going well. If you look at them now, there’s a more confident air to the team.

“But the biggest thing in football, which is very much the challenge from a Rangers perspective, is the challenge to keep that going all the way.

“That challenge still faces them – especially up against a club as successful as Celtic have been in recent years.

“And Steven will accept that because he has experienced that at a really high level as a player, so he knows better than anyone.

“But the players at Rangers look now as though they are ready for the challenge this season – and that’s the main thing. One of the things they have to face up to is what happened to them previously.

“Once they face that and come out the other side, they’ve got a chance of winning.”

While Celtic have leaked 21 goals in their past nine games in all competitions, the Ibrox outfit have only lost league strikes to Hibs (twice) and Motherwell while racking up 13 wins and two draws.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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