Smith expects tense tie
Walter Smith is expecting a tense encounter when his side take on FBK Kaunas at Ibrox.
By James Dall
Last Updated: 29/07/08 5:08pm
Gers boss hoping players will make their experience count
Rangers boss Walter Smith is expecting a tense encounter when his side take on FBK Kaunas in Wednesday's UEFA Champions League qualifier at Ibrox.
Gers host their Lithuanian opponents in the first leg of the tie looking to claim a win that would take them one step closer to the group stages.
Smith's men overcame qualifiers against FK Zeta and Red Star Belgrade last season, and the Scot is hopeful his players will use the experience to their advantage.
"They played in this round last year so they know exactly what the pitfalls are if you don't succeed and what the benefits are if you do," he said.
"The players want to be playing at the highest level so they want to play in the Champions League and they know that's what's at stake in this match.
"The game against Kaunas is there for us to win, that's what we want to try to do.
"We have to respect that all the clubs at this stage of the tournament want to be in the Champions League and they are difficult matches.
"There is a nervousness and a tension about them and that would be expected for something prized at the end of it.
"It's the same for the players, they want to play at that level. The Kaunas players will want to play at that level the same as the Rangers players will.
"It makes them difficult matches but ones that we would be hoping to overcome."
Smith, who will be without Barry Ferguson and Carlos Cuellar for the fixture, confirmed Kevin Thomson and Lee McCulloch should be fit to play.