Davis welcomes Smith stay
Steven Davis says Walter Smith staying at the club despite working without a contract will focus the players.
By Danny Wright
Last Updated: 08/12/09 7:05pm
Rangers midfielder Steven Davis has praised manager Walter Smith for agreeing to stay at the club, despite working on a noncontract basis from January.
Uncertainty has shrouded Rangers' preparation for their UEFA Champions League clash with Sevilla in Spain, but the players were handed a boost when it was announced Smith would remain at the club.
The future of the Gers' boss remained up in the air given the financial situation at Ibrox, where owner Sir David Murray is trying to sell his majority shares.
But chief executive Martin Bain revealed at the club's annual general meeting that Smith and assistants Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowall would continue to manage the team, even though their current deals run out in January.
Davis welcomed the news and said the Rangers team enjoyed playing under the experienced manager.
The Northern Ireland international said the announcement would bring some continuity to the Rangers camp amidst concern over the state of the club's finances.
"I think it's great," said Davis. "You don't see that a lot in football these days.
"It's great that they can continue the work because the players enjoy working under them.
"There are a lot of factors and distractions off the pitch and I think the main thing for the players is just to stay focused on the football side of things.
"From the gaffer's point of view, he has taken away all the distractions and allowed us to focus solely on football. That's the main thing and it's great."
Rangers are said to be £31million in the red and reports suggested that the club would have to offload its star players in an attempt to balance the books.
Those fears were allayed at the AGM though, much to the delight of Davis, who believes the current crop of players can go places if they are allowed to stay together.
"You see what you read in the media and you know the situation the club finds itself in," Davis said. "But the players want to keep the nucleus of the squad together.
"We have had a relative amount of success over the past couple of seasons and hopefully we can continue that this year. So hopefully there will be no sales."
Success on the European front will have to wait for Rangers as they play their last Champions League clash of the season against Sevilla.
The Glasgow club travel to the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan without a win in Group G, having amassed just two points from five matches.
Not even the consolation of the Europa League awaits Smith's men, but Davis said his side must emulate their performances in away games against Unirea Urziceni and VfB Stuttgart earlier in the season.
Rangers have provided some encouraging signs on the road in Europe this season, picking up draws in both games away from Ibrox.
The 24-year-old called for a similar approach against the group leaders, who will be missing star striker Luis Fabiano.
"We are coming up against a top quality side in Sevilla and we have to approach it in the same way we have approached the previous two away games in the competition," David said.
"We've had a couple of good performances away from home and we just look to continue that in a similar way."