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Oct 11 2009 Exclusive by Scott McDermott

STEVIE SMITH is praying his performance in last week's Old Firm win has convinced the Ibrox hierarchy he has a long-term future at Rangers.

The full-back was drafted in to Walter Smith's depleted side against the Hoops and excelled as Gers' sealed a crucial 2-1 victory.

It was his third start of the SPL campaign and further proof the 26-year-old has recaptured the form that made him a regular under ex-boss Alex McLeish.

Smith was even touted for a Scotland cap two years ago before an injury nightmare threatened to end his career.

His contract is due to expire next summer and Stevie is desperate to secure a new deal. He told MailSport: "I've always known I'd have to prove to the gaffer I can still do it at the top level.

"For most of last season I had no chance of playing. But I've worked hard for my break and now have to take it.

"When you come back from any long-term injury it's hard.

"But in last week's Celtic game I showed the manager he can trust me in the real big ones.

"There was pressure on us - if we'd lost we'd have gone seven points behind Celtic.

"I've proved I can do a job for the manager. He knows he can throw me in to any game - and I'll continue to get even better."

Smith, like team-mate Kris Boyd, is free to talk to other clubs in January about a move.

And he's aware too of the financial constraints that mean some Ibrox stars face a pay cut.

But having come through the ranks at Murray Park, Smith is adamant money won't be an issue if he's given the chance to stay.

He said: "Rangers are the only club I've ever been at so I don't want to go anywhere else.

"This is still a massive club who are involved in the Champions League nearly every year.

"Money doesn't come into it for me - especially after what I've been through with injuries.

"There's a great group of boys here who enjoy working with the coaching staff so I want to be a part of that in future.

"I've been here so long it's the only place I know."

Smith was taken by surprise when he was included for the Old Firm crunch when he filled in on the left-side of midfield.

But he revealed it's the first clash with Celtic he's ever enjoyed playing in.

Stevie said: "I didn't know I was playing until we were in the dressing-room before the game.

"The atmosphere was great and for some reason I had no nerves. I was relaxed and going two up early on helped me enjoy myself."

http://www.sundaymail.co.uk/sport-news/sco...78057-21738883/

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I would give him another deal, he won't be on major wages and he is a very good squad player to have.

He did very well against Celtic and I thought his delivery of the ball against Hearts really helped us in a game that we looked like loosing.

He still has a long way to go but if he can stay fit and continue to work on his game then he is a good option to have.

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i like stevie smith as a footballer, i'd be happy for him to get a new contract. just hope he can go injury free for a few years, no had the best luck over the years & he's 26 now - so he needs to stay injury free

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The £££ would be minimal, which club would be willing to pay a decent amount for somone who is "injury prone". I think if he stayed injury free and got a good run in the team he would improve vastly. Would like to see him get a new deal.

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Guest The Brown Brogue
I would sell him in January.

LOL why?

I'm not really a fan of him tbh.

I would rather rake in a few £££ than give him a new contract.

Agreed.

I think he is distinctly average at best. Think a lot of people seem to want him to be offered a new contract on sentiment rather than ability.

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I would sell him in January.

LOL why?

I'm not really a fan of him tbh.

I would rather rake in a few £££ than give him a new contract.

Agreed.

I think he is distinctly average at best. Think a lot of people seem to want him to be offered a new contract on sentiment rather than ability.

I really do think he has talent, he just needs to build a level of consistency in his game and he will only be able to do that by playing matches.

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We wouldnt get a penny for Smith.

We have 0 competition for left back if you take him out of the equation so thats just another position we'd need to fill with no money.

He's a smart lad and knows he's on the outskirts of a team looking in, so he wont ask for must in wages.

Papac has been annoying me this season, so I'd probably have Smith in there. Even just for a couple of games to let Papac know he needs to up his game.

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We wouldnt get a penny for Smith.

We have 0 competition for left back if you take him out of the equation so thats just another position we'd need to fill with no money.

He's a smart lad and knows he's on the outskirts of a team looking in, so he wont ask for must in wages.

Papac has been annoying me this season, so I'd probably have Smith in there. Even just for a couple of games to let Papac know he needs to up his game.

we have back up give greg wylde a chance

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I'd like to see us try and sign Lee Wallace, while slowly leaning both Papac and Smith towards the exit door.

Yep, me too, good/handy for the Uefa squad rules too.

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I'd like to see us try and sign Lee Wallace, while slowly leaning both Papac and Smith towards the exit door.

I imagine Hearts would want a fair few £££ for Wallace.

Are Hearts still in as much finiancial bother as they were?

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I'd like to see us try and sign Lee Wallace, while slowly leaning both Papac and Smith towards the exit door.

I imagine Hearts would want a fair few £££ for Wallace.

Are Hearts still in as much finiancial bother as they were?

Probably somewhere between two and three million :(

If we could get the money he'd be our left back for years.

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I would sell him in January.

LOL why?

I'm not really a fan of him tbh.

I would rather rake in a few £££ than give him a new contract.

Agreed.

I think he is distinctly average at best. Think a lot of people seem to want him to be offered a new contract on sentiment rather than ability.

Hmmm,. but, Papac is career average at best, and, many want him over smith, who has better delivery, is younger, costs less etc etc etc

I would have Smith in with Wylde as backup

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I would sell him in January.

LOL why?

I'm not really a fan of him tbh.

I would rather rake in a few £££ than give him a new contract.

Agreed.

I think he is distinctly average at best. Think a lot of people seem to want him to be offered a new contract on sentiment rather than ability.

Hmmm,. but, Papac is career average at best, and, many want him over smith, who has better delivery, is younger, costs less etc etc etc

I would have Smith in with Wylde as backup

Papac is much better defensively than I recon Smith will ever be.

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