Rangers win offset by injury blows

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Rangers win offset by injury blows

Post  IceQueen on Wed 20 Jan - 4:10

Walter Smith was left rueing yet more injury woe after Rangers booked their place in the Scottish Cup fifth round with a 2-0 win over Hamilton.

Kenny Miller and Nacho Novo both limped out of the replay at Ibrox with hamstring and ankle injuries respectively and both are unlikely to take part in this weekend's SPL clash against Hearts.

With top goalscorer Kris Boyd recovering from a hernia operation and Kyle Lafferty absent tonight with flu, Smith admits he will once again be down to the bare bones for the visit of the Jambos.

He said: "Kenny Miller and Nacho Novo both have injuries, which could keep them out for the weekend.

"Miller will certainly be out, Nacho we will have to wait and see. It will obviously affect us up front for the weekend and we also won't have Steven Naismith or DaMarcus Beasley back.

"We will just have to manufacture something. Kyle Lafferty has flu, but we may have him back. We will see."

Steven Whittaker grabbed a double in extra-time after the 90 minutes against Hamilton had ended goalless, with Accies once again frustrating Rangers.

Smith added: "It was a hard night's work for us and I thought it would be like that before we started. That's how it turned out.

"We hit the crossbar a couple of times and the Hamilton goalkeeper had an excellent night. Credit to our boys, they kept going and got the goals that matter.

"I couldn't fault the creation of opportunity, it was just a difficult night to get the goals."

Smith praised the contribution of full-back Whittaker, saying: "He's got a number of goals and a handy one to have."

Hamilton manager Billy Reid admitted extra-time was just a step too far for his players after giving their all in three meetings with Rangers within the last 10 days.

He said: "It was hard work for the players, we worked tirelessly all night. In extra-time it was really tough on the players as they had worked so hard.

"They gave me everything and you can't ask for more. We passed the ball well but had no cutting edge. I think it was just tiredness in the end.

"We've had three games in nine days against Rangers, we acquitted ourselves well, but the best team won."

However, the Accies boss says he was baffled by some of the calls made by referee Charlie Richmond.

He added: "I couldn't understand some of the decisions in the last 15 minutes but the referee is paid to do his job.

"I don't want to get involved with referees - it's not my style - but I thought James McArthur was fouled before the second goal."
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