Dons are the form team, says Smith

20 January 2009 06:46
But he has warned against allowing the Dons to record an Old Firm double when Rangers make the trip north to Pittodrie on Saturday.

Victory over Falkirk at Ibrox - combined with Aberdeen's impressive 4-2 win over Celtic - means Rangers have clawed themselves to within two points of the SPL leaders.

But the Granite City proved a difficult venue earlier in the season when Rangers had to settle for a 1-1 draw and Smith is well aware that three points will be difficult to come by again this time around.

He said: "Aberdeen are obviously the form team in the country right now.

"It was always going to be a difficult game for Celtic last weekend - as it will be for us this weekend - so we were obviously pleased that the points differential was cut at the weekend."

Rangers trailed Celtic by seven points following last month's Old Firm derby but, with just a couple of points between the

Glasgow rivals now, Smith believes the title race is too close to call.

He told the club's official website: "I think the championship this year will be tight.

"We have dropped points this season when we have had the best of the game and that has been a disappointing factor.

"However, having lost the Old Firm game a few weeks ago we are obviously pleased that we have got the situation back to two points.

"I think ourselves and Celtic are reasonably close together.

"They have had the slight advantage for most of the season but as I have said since the turn of the year we need a consistency in our performances.

"We managed to do that at this time last year but we know we are going to have to work hard to achieve this again."

Meanwhile, Smith is confident of having enough personnel to cover for the loss of Sasa Papac for the next two games if an appeal against his sending-off is thrown out.

If the straight red card against Falkirk stands, that would mean an automatic one-match ban against Aberdeen and would push the full-back through the points barrier meaning he would also sit out the visit of Dundee United.

Smith said: "That's something that would disappoint us.

"He has been a steady player for us and has played very well for us after moving from central defence to left-back. We would just have to cover for it.

"Steven Whittaker has not been playing recently and both he and Kirk Broadfoot can play at left-back so we have cover for that situation."


Source: Team_Talk