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Smith impressed by new faces
Published : 13 Feb 2011 08:00:49
Walter Smith praised Kyle Bartley and David Healy after the January signings made impressive debuts in Rangers' 6-0 romp over Motherwell in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.
Arsenal defender Bartley made his first appearance when he started in the holding midfield role usually occupied by the injured Lee McCulloch while Healy also had a maiden bow to remember when he completed the rout at Ibrox following Steven Naismith's opener, a hat-trick from Nikica Jelavic and an own-goal by Shaun Hutchinson.
Smith said of Bartley: "The lad is a central defender, he is not a midfield player but he has played there before. We were keen to see whether he could fit into that role and I think he showed he can move forward quite comfortably into that kind of role."
He added: "From being a centre-half, you would see him as being a more defensive-type midfield player, which is the job that we would want him to do.
"But when the opportunity arises, he has shown a capability of getting forward and it was an excellent pass through for the second goal.
"We are pleased with the way he played. He has been playing nearly the whole of the season at centre-half (in a loan spell) for Sheffield United so it's his first time in midfield and it always takes a little bit of time to settle in but I thought he did very well."
Lifelong Rangers fan Healy came off the bench to mark his debut with a goal and Smith said: "He looked quite pleased when he scored.
"I think he has fulfilled one of his ambitions and hopefully he can continue to add to his ambitions in the coming weeks.
"I thought he played very well and he could have had another goal if it wasn't for an excellent save from the goalkeeper. The pleasing thing was managing to get the players we brought in in January at least integrated into our team and starting to play."