Naismith frustrated by SPL postponements

Steven Naismith has no fears about Rangers' ability to cope with a potential fixture backlog in the New Year.

But the midfielder admits the players are growing increasingly frustrated by their lack of football in recent weeks.

Tonight's Clydesdale Bank Premier League game at Dundee United was postponed for a second time due to adverse weather conditions, after significant water damage at Ibrox forced the weekend match against St Mirren to be called off.

That means the Scottish champions have had just one domestic fixture - the 1-1 draw at Inverness - in the last month, as they prepare to travel to Motherwell on Boxing Day.

Naismith said: "The stop-start to your week isn't the best preparation.

"We just really want the games to be back on, it's been a bit disappointing that they've been off.

"The thing a player likes best is a routine and knowing your full week.

"It's quite distracting when games are called off days before and training is changing.

"The uncertainty is definitely frustrating for the players."

With Europa League games against Sporting Lisbon to look forward to in February, Rangers could find themselves facing a hectic schedule as they bid to balance a backlog of domestic fixtures with their European commitments.

But, having already produced some credible performances in the Champions League earlier in the season, while maintaining a strong defence of their SPL title, Naismith insists Rangers will relish, rather than fear, the prospect of a packed period.

He told Blues News: "In the first part of the season we liked having the games midweek and at the weekends.

"It keeps you ticking over, you get into a rhythm of playing and we went on a good run.

"So hopefully we can pick that back up and keep that going towards the end of the season.

"Ask any player and they will tell you they would rather play games than train.

"Although the games are mounting up, we will be happy if we keep playing and getting good results."

His views were backed by James Beattie, who has been impressed by his new club following his summer arrival from Stoke.

Lack of match sharpness, combined with a spell injured on the sidelines, means the striker has featured in just eight matches so far and he had nothing but praise for the ever-presents in the team.

He said: "A lot has been made of how small the squad is and the demands asked of the players who play every week.

"It's a magnificent team, a magnificent club to be involved in.

"They are proper professionals and they just get on with the job.

"I've never heard them moan, when you hear other people moaning about having too much work to do.

"The lads just get out there and get on with it. Any praise they do receive is well-merited in my book."


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