Rangers did not underestimate Unirea says Smith

Rangers manager Walter Smith insists their Champions League humbling at the hands of Unirea Urziceni was down to his players simply not being good enough on the night — and not because they underestimated their opponents.

The teams meet again tonight with the Scottish champions hoping the clash in Bucharest will allow them to atone for the shock 4-1 defeat they suffered at Ibrox a fortnight ago and steer their qualifying campaign back on track.

According to one Romanian journalist at yesterday's pre-match press conference, Unirea boss Dan Petrescu told the local press he believed their shock win was the result of Rangers heading into the game believing they were superior to the Champions League debutants.

However, Smith was quick to refute the claim, insisting: “I don't think that's right at all.

“I don't think we are in a position to disregard anybody and we certainly didn't think that before the game.

“We didn't play well on the evening, which is the main aspect. We didn't play the way we have done in other European games, but it was not because of any disrespect for the opposition.

“We will have to do far better this time than we did in the last match we played. We didn't acquit ourselves well and it was probably our poorest European performance for a while.

“We have to make sure that we try to turn that around and play in the manner we know we can.

“If we can do that, we have a chance.”

Petrescu has revealed he made a bet with his players that they would not pick up another point in the Champions League after their stunning victory in Glasgow, but Smith refused to be drawn into any mind games.

“I hope that's the case,” he smiled.

“We want to try and win the game and that's all that matters to us.

“We have to show the way we played in the last game wasn't typical of our performances. Certainly, we played better in the other two games than we did in that game at Ibrox.”

Defeat in Bucharest would spell the end of Rangers' hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages and, for that reason, Smith refused to look beyond tonight's match.

He said: “We were asked at the end of the last game how we felt about qualifying and after the way we played in that game, we can't look any further than this game.

“To take something from this game is vitally important and we will attempt to do that. It will have to be a far better performance than the previous match.”

Sourced from: The Belfast Telegraph

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power