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Walter committed to Gers job
Published : 24 May 2009 17:26:37
The veteran boss had been tipped to leave the club this summer and would have been able to quit in a blaze of glory after they were crowned Scottish champions. Goals from Kyle Lafferty, Pedro Mendes and Kris Boyd secured the win against Dundee United at Tannadice which sealed the championship after three years of dominance from Celtic. The triumph also guarantees Rangers entry to the group stages of the Champions League after they fell at the first hurdle in qualifying at the start of this term. Asked whether he felt he still had unfinished business at Ibrox, Smith replied: "I never said I didn't. This is what everyone else keeps asking me. "I think when you get to my age, other people look at you retiring. "Obviously, I would much rather face the Champions League than qualification for the Champions League. "I plan to go on holiday and then come back and face the Champions League." Rangers surrendered the title to Celtic on the final day last season - when Gordon Strachan's men also ironically triumphed at Tannadice - and Smith knows the bottle of his players was questioned back then. But, having fought back from seven points behind and come through a number of off-field problems, Smith insists no-one can question the character of Rangers this time around. He said: "It was a very important win for everyone at the club and I was delighted with the manner in which we won it. "I'm really happy for everyone at the club to have the championship. "Despite everybody else's assessment of Rangers, we have had some really good performances over the season and that was one of them. It came on a day that we needed it. "A lot of people said last season that Rangers lost their bottle a wee bit in the latter stages, which I didn't think was the case. "But the lads have shown in recent weeks they have what it takes to win a championship and I'm delighted we have." Rangers publicly admitted in January they could be forced to offload key players in a bid to balance the books but Smith hopes a £10million Champions League windfall will now ease the pressure on the club. He masterminded the 'Nine in a Row' campaign during his first spell at Rangers in the 1990s but, because of the financial implications now, insists this title triumph is up there with the best of them. He said: "I've been fortunate to win quite a few but every one of them means something to you. "This one especially because the club had a difficult spell from January onwards and the financial aspect of qualification for the Champions League was a big thing. "So we're delighted from the chairman down the way to have alleviated a little bit of the financial problem we have." The 3-0 scorelines means Dundee United were pipped to the final European spot by Aberdeen, who defeated Hibernian. Boss Craig Levein said: "I'm gutted for everybody. The fact that we didn't get anything from the game doesn't change the fact that it was a great occasion, it was great to be involved in the match. "The problem is that we didn't get what we set out to get and that was a European place. But there were 37 other matches to get one point. "The good thing is that we have a lot of good young players and we will be better next year."