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Today Rangers required just nine men to win a cup final. An unbelievable achievement; to secure victory whilst at a two man disadvantage. This current Rangers team are jam packed of that most inspiring of qualities; character. Walter Smith�s team epitomise this attribute with a never say die attitude.

 

Our foes from the East End have attempted to tarnish our achievements this season as they see us marching to another league title to keep the League Cup company in the trophy room this summer. Tony Mowbray�s side have not been good enough to keep up with our relentless accumulation of points and in their desperation have sought to stain our success with their accusations against the impartiality or quality of the officials in this country. All teams get decisions that do not go their way. It happens in all competitions, in all countries. But as Rangers demonstrated today, if you�re good enough you will still have the ability to overcome adversity and the occasional poor decisions. What our nine men achieved today was simply awesome. To defeat another side from the top division in the country with an incomplete complement of players on the field shows the winning mentality Smith has instilled in his squad.

 

Never were the words of the fansââ?¬â?¢ chants more relevant; ââ?¬Å?We are Rangers, Super Rangersââ?¬Â. Thereââ?¬â?¢s is something super, something extraordinary about this Rangers squad. No other team in the country or perhaps even some earlier Rangers squads would manage to have secured victory under such circumstances. Both red cards could perhaps be described as harsh, but by the letter of the law both were also merited. The frustration comes with the lack of consistency from officials.

 

Kevin Thomson�s challenge was reckless, even foolhardy. But had the referee punished two earlier incidents in that passage of play for fouls on Rangers players; one on Thomson himself, the game would have unfolded differently and Thomson would not have gone seeking retribution as the referee temporarily lost charge of the match with his indecision. It does not excuse Thomson�s subsequent behaviour but by the same token the referee�s inaction should not be ignored.

 

For me the Wilson red card is even harder to take. A slight tug of the arm outside the box. It was a free kick, maybe even a yellow card. But with Davie Weir also covering across it was perhaps not a clear goal-scoring opportunity. And to make matters worse, that issue of consistency of officials decisions again crops up. On numerous occasions this season we have won penalties or free kicks with players bearing down on goal only for the opposition player to be given a stay of execution with only a caution given or no card at all. To me, it was no surprise that the officials were not given a warm reception when collecting their medals.

 

Down to just nine players then, with 20 minutes of the game to be played. As the commentators constantly reminded us, Rangers were playing for penalties. Not his Rangers side though. Not Walter Smith�s Rangers. We were playing for prizes. Playing for victory and playing for another trophy. Weir won the ball inside our own half and set substitute Steven Naismith on his way on the right hand side. The young forward looked up and picked out Kenny Miller with a pin point cross. The dynamic forward, who had been struggling all game with his finishing, guided a pinpoint header into the far corner with the keeper toiling to get across. All that was required now was to see out the final 6-minutes plus injury time.

 

However, even in spite of their first half dominance, an off form Rangers and a numerical disadvantage, St Mirren did not seriously threaten our goal again. No team could realistically harbour dreams of winning a match against such odds. But Cup Final hero Kenny Miller stated after the match that he always kept believing. That the team still felt they could do it. And with Walter Smith in the dugout and the team of battlers we have out on the field, so did this bear. Winning in sport is a habit and it is a healthy one into which we have gotten into.

 

Prior to the match, Smith said his favourite cup final victory was the 4-3 win over Hearts. League Cup triumph number 26 surely ranks up there with the best of them. Smith�s post match comments struck a chord with me:

 

ââ?¬Å?As I said to the boys, it doesn't matter how many times you win trophies you can never win enough of them and that's where I'm fromââ?¬Â.

 

It is a footballing philosophy that I can relate to and Iââ?¬â?¢m happy we still have Walter Smith leading us into each competition. In the post match analysis new Scotland manager Craig Levein uttered the words ââ?¬Å?arise Sir Walterââ?¬Â and surely that is another accolade that could come his way when he finally hangs up his club tie.

 

Whilst the fans and players must enjoy the moment and soak up yet another trophy success on Wednesday it is up to Tannadice as we seek to progress to a Scottish Cup Semi Final with Raith Rovers. We also need to ensure we claim the 6 victories that will guarantee SPL success. The likelihood is that the league title will also rest at Ibrox again this season. If the players could secure the clubs eight treble they would firmly establish themselves in Rangers history books and confirm themselves as Super Rangers!

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Excellent post Ally and enough can not be said about the squad and Walter Smith. I will admit saying "why is WS bringing on Naismith he should bring on Beasley for his speed and play him through the middle. Walter got it right although i think we would have won 2-0 with Beasley on.;)

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Excellent post Ally and enough can not be said about the squad and Walter Smith. I will admit saying "why is WS bringing on Naismith he should bring on Beasley for his speed and play him through the middle. Walter got it right although i think we would have won 2-0 with Beasley on.;)

 

Lol, Beasley may have made a similar impact as there are some similarities in his attributes and Naismith's imo. I'll settle for 1 nil though when it's 11 men v 9 (+ a pigeon).

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Lol, Beasley may have made a similar impact as there are some similarities in his attributes and Naismith's imo. I'll settle for 1 nil though when it's 11 men v 9 (+ a pigeon).

 

Did the pigeon have a masonic apron on.:)

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Nice round up of the game, the ups and downs, the scary moments, and the final triumph of Kenny Miller's goal.

They showed once again the stuff of champions when the players stepped up and made the difference when Thomson and Wilson were sent off. :spl:

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HAHA i'd have given ANYTHING to see Timmy's face. I guess St Mirren 'Lay Down'? Priceless. Well done to the lads, fantastic achievement against the odds. It's quite incredible the team spirit that is there at the moment.

It really is a case of 'The cry was no surrender'.

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HAHA i'd have given ANYTHING to see Timmy's face. I guess St Mirren 'Lay Down'? Priceless. Well done to the lads, fantastic achievement against the odds. It's quite incredible the team spirit that is there at the moment.

It really is a case of 'The cry was no surrender'.

 

Heard that being belted out sometime after the cards but before the goal. Really epitomises our squad's character.

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What an achievment. There's times when I wish I was back home to witness this season. (at least I caught the OF) I'm over the moon for Walter as he deserves all the praise coming his way. He's had to put up with some shite from the fans (some justified I'll admit) but at last the majority seem to be realising that what he has achieved since his return is nothing short of miraculous.

 

Whisper it; this is a real Rangers team.:spl:

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