Smith hopes win ignites season
Walter Smith was delighted with Rangers' 2-1 win over Celtic and hopes it will kick-start his team's season.
Last Updated: 04/10/09 9:02pm
Walter Smith was delighted with Rangers' 2-1 victory over Celtic and hopes it will kick-start the SPL champions' season.
Gers headed into Sunday's Old Firm derby at Ibrox on the back of three successive 0-0 draws in the league and defeat would have seen Smith's side fall seven points behind Celtic.
However, a first-half double from former Bhoys striker Kenny Miller was enough to clinch the points to leave Smith in buoyant mood given the circumstances.
It was an unfamiliar side named by Smith, with both Madjid Bougherra and Lee McCulloch out with flu and Kevin Thomson sidelined with a knee problem.
Sasa Papac was asked to deputise in the heart of defence along with David Weir, while youngster Andrew Little earned his first Old Firm start before limping off early on with a hamstring pull.
Kris Boyd was also forced out of the action after suffering concussion in a clash of heads with Landry N'Guemo, but Rangers managed to hold on to their advantage.
"I feel we have had a slow start to the season as I've mentioned on a number of occasions," said Smith.
"We probably needed a game like that to, hopefully, kick-start our season.
"We've got Celtic back to a point now, but it's no use unless we carry that on to the next lot of games we have."
He added: "Considering all the aspects of the game, I was delighted with the win.
"It was important for us that the gap didn't increase any, I think that was the most important thing more than anything else.
"You are always delighted when you get a win and it was important to cut back the lead, even at this early stage of the season.
"We have had three draws, but we haven't lost a league game yet and, from our own point of view, we were delighted to hold on to that aspect of it.
"We cut Celtic back from what could have been a seven-point lead to a one-point lead and that's a huge thing for us."
On Boyd's condition, Smith said: "He's got a concussion and he also has a nasty knock on the eye, which I hope will be all right once he gets checked out.
"He has to go to hospital but, with the concussion he has, he will be sidelined for a few days anyway."