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Walter on the bust-ups


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Published: 05 Dec 2009

Players being pulled apart - that's when he believes he's really got a team who are united together.

Fists start flying, that's when he knows their feet are planted firmly on the ground.

Walter Smith has seen it all as Rangers manager.

He's had more barneys and bust-ups than most bosses have won trophies.

But he's convinced this week's behind-the-scenes controversy isn't a sign of weakness in his side's title defence. It's a position of strength.

First Madjid Bougherra and Kenny Miller came to blows in a training pitch scuffle.

Then Davie Weir singled out Kyle Lafferty for his poor first half performance at Pittodrie against Aberdeen with a stinging verbal attack at half-time.

And Smith reckons there is nothing he could ever do to stop it - even if he wanted to.

He said: "It happens at clubs. It has happened loads in my time at Rangers.

"I don't see it as being to the detriment of what we're doing. Players can get involved in clashes for different reasons.

"But sometimes you say to yourself, if we didn't have it, would it show there wasn't any great desire or intent about the place and there was a bit of apathy?

"But it's just the same as it's always been.

"The thing with Kenny Miller happened, same with Davie Weir.

"There was no fighting with that one, but as the captain Davie thought he had something to say and that he had every right to say it.

"As captain of the team he comes in and says things to me.

"That's just a natural thing. It makes headlines, but it's a good thing in my eyes.

"The thing with Kenny and Madjid wasn't particularly good, but Weir and Lafferty for me is normal. We were 1-0 down and not playing well against a team we were hoping to beat. That's just normal."

SunSport broke both stories with behind-the-scenes exclusives as Miller and Bougherra went toe-to-toe then Weir and Lafferty clashed just 24 hours later.

But Smith insists Gers can put the bust-ups behind them to focus on beating Falkirk today.

Smith added: "In the case of Weir and Lafferty remember that was the captain of the team.

"If we're not doing well - which we weren't at Aberdeen - then Davie has every right to have his say.

"None of these things are done for any other reason that to provoke a reaction.

"It's not the first time this season it's happened. It's a natural dressing-room fact.

"If we didn't have it there would be something far wrong.

"The Miller incident with Bougherra was mainly down to comments which Kenny made in the papers about Madjid not coming back from Algeria in time to play for us.

"If someone did that in any walk of life you would expect there to be some sort of situation among them.

"Players generally meet up on a training pitch so that's where things spill over but they have had their say now and they have done it. They have sat down and said what they had to say in front of each other so that's it. It's finished with.

"It will not carry on or spill over into anything else.

"These are just things which happen and we have to handle them and get on with it."


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Laughable or not hes been one of if not our most consistent player this season!

Hes captain and has been in the game for a while hes got the right to give the players a boot if they need it imo...

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