Gers boss coy over Boyd prospects

23 November 2009 04:03
The striker has spent most European nights kicking his heels on the bench, with Kenny Miller usually given the nod in the lone striker role favoured by the Rangers boss.

In fact, Boyd's one and only start in the competition was in a qualifying match against Montenegrin side Zeta back in July 2007 and he has made no secret of his desire to play a bigger role in the tournament.

He could finally be granted his wish with Smith possibly tempted to opt for a two-pronged attack in a match he knows Rangers must win to keep their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages alive.

Boyd and Miller have proved to be an effective partnership in the Scottish Premier League, with both on the scoresheet in the 3-0 win over Kilmarnock at the weekend and the former notching his eighth goal of the season.

Asked whether he will stick with the same front pairing against the Germans, Smith smiled: "You will have to wait and see."

But he admitted Boyd is in his thoughts for the match, adding: "You are always tempted to play him.

"There is always a temptation to play anyone who gets his number of goals and there has been since I came here.

"There have been some games where it has worked okay leaving him out and there have been some games where I wish I had put him in."

Stuttgart sit 16th in the Bundesliga, without a win in their last six games, but Smith refused to read too much into their domestic form.

"It's not for us to look at really," he said.

"In the first half-hour against us, Stuttgart showed that they have quality players. There is no doubt they have a high quality of player.

"They will be disappointed by their start to the season but there are quite a number of clubs who are maybe not doing so well in their own league but handle the Champions League better and that can become a focal point for them.

"For both Stuttgart and ourselves, the main aspect of this game is, after not having had the results we would have wanted, we still find ourselves in the position where we can qualify.

"That's what makes the game interesting as much as anything else."

Smith is more interested in the form of his own team recently and believes Rangers have shown a marked improvement since the 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Unirea Urziceni in their last Champions League game at Ibrox.

He said: "Since the Unirea game, which was by far our poorest performance since I came back to Rangers three years ago, we have picked up.

"There has been a better edge to our game and that also showed in the return game against Unirea. Our form has picked up, we have been better and hopefully we can continue that.

"We have taken a boost from our performances, which have been better. In the early part of the season we were patchy, we had some good ones and some poor ones in both domestic and European games.

"We have been steadier since the Unirea game at Ibrox and have played to a far better level.

"Hopefully that is an indication that we can fare better in our home game than we have done in the previous two."

Rangers v VfB Stuttgart To Score in 90mins: Boyd, K. 2/1  

Source: Team_Talk