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Smith offers Rangers no PSV comfort

Published: Wednesday 16 March 2011, 15.38CET
A 0-0 draw at PSV Eindhoven has left Rangers FC with a clear sight of the quarter-finals but manager Walter Smith warned that in such circumstances "the away team is always in it".
by Barry Johnston & Berend Scholten
from Glasgow
Smith offers Rangers no PSV comfort
Walter Smith (right) with his assistant Ally McCoist ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

RangersPSV

Goals scored3
 
19
Attempts on target12
 
62
Attempts off target16
 
62
Corners28
 
68
Offsides18
 
33
Fouls committed39
 
179
Yellow cards7
 
19
Red cards0
 
0

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Published: Wednesday 16 March 2011, 15.38CET

Smith offers Rangers no PSV comfort

A 0-0 draw at PSV Eindhoven has left Rangers FC with a clear sight of the quarter-finals but manager Walter Smith warned that in such circumstances "the away team is always in it".

Despite a relative wealth of European experience in their ranks, Rangers FC enter unfamiliar territory in their decisive last-16 meeting with PSV Eindhoven. Four years have passed since the Scottish champions last played at home in the second leg of a UEFA competition tie.

PSV have shown they have good attacking options and they have many good players throughout their team – they wouldn't be top of the Dutch league if they hadn't.
Rangers manager Walter Smith

That night, against Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC, was the first home European outing of Walter Smith's second spell as manager and it yielded a big UEFA Cup success: a 4-0 win to topple a 2-1 defeat in Israel. However, Smith remains wary of a scenario in which, following last week's goalless stalemate in the Netherlands, PSV require only a score draw to progress.

"This is the first time in a long while that we have been drawn at home in the second leg," Smith said. "It's something we have to try and take advantage of, but we also have to be careful. In the second game, unless it's a wide open result, the away team is always in it. PSV have shown they have good attacking options and they have many good players throughout their team – they wouldn't be top of the Dutch league if they hadn't."

Rangers have been boosted by the return to fitness of versatile forward Steven Naismith. However, Smith must decide whether to deploy the Scottish international against PSV or save him for Sunday's League Cup final versus Glasgow rivals Celtic FC.

Smith added: "Steven Naismith is available, but the question is whether this is the right game to bring him back as he just returned to full training yesterday. We also have the Celtic match to think about and I don't think he's ready to play in both."

PSV Eindhoven coach Fred Rutten has challenged his side to break through Rangers' blue wall and seal their UEFA Europa League last-eight place. While the Eredivisie leaders were frustrated by their failure to score in the clubs' first meeting, Rutten has an almost fully-fit squad available, with only long-term absentee Jonathan Reis missing. Nonetheless, he expects a testing evening at Ibrox.

"We had to try to break through a wall and that is very hard to do," the former FC Schalke 04 boss said. "We played a good European match in all aspects, but failed to score that one goal. With that we could have made it a bit easier in the return game and we know this is how Rangers have achieved many of their results. I do not expect it to be different in Scotland."

Last updated: 17/03/11 19.00CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2011/matches/round=2000130/match=2003811/prematch/preview/index.html#psv+ball+rangers+court

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