Smith hoping for Gers boost
Walter Smith hopes the announcement that Ally McCoist will manage Gers next season will lift his players.
Last Updated: 23/02/11 5:28pm
Rangers manager Walter Smith hopes the announcement that Ally McCoist will manage the club next season will lift his players.
The Ibrox giants confirmed the news on Tuesday that McCoist would succeed the hugely successful Smith when he steps down this summer.
Assistant McCoist will take the helm next term and Smith hopes the confirmation of one of the worst kept secrets in the game will allow the players to focus on the future.
Smith has expressed his relief that the news has finally been confirmed, especially in the wake of Sunday's 3-0 defeat to arch-rivals Celtic.
"You would need to ask the players about their reaction but I was pleased that it was finally announced that Alistair would be taking over," said Smith.
"It was pleasing from that aspect and, if it does give us a bit of a boost between now and the end of the season, we will be happy about that."
Meanwhile, Gers have been dealt a blow in their Europa League hopes with the news that Steven Naismith will miss the return leg against Sporting with a hamstring strain.
The forward is expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks while Jamie Ness is also missing for Gers while fellow youngster Kyle Hutton is ill.
"Steven will be out for two to three weeks just to make sure the hamstring problem he has had clears up and he'll not go to Portugal," Smith told the club's official website.
"He's had the issue for quite a while now so we'll have to give him the time he needs to rectify that.
"Jamie is in the same boat and he'll not go to Lisbon either. He'll also be out for the same length of time.
"We need all the players we've got at the present moment because Kyle is unwell just now too and it will be a rather small squad which will be travelling."