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Another massive week

WE'RE back to action this weekend when we take on Motherwell at Ibrox and it is the start of another very important and demanding period for us.

It is very disappointing, therefore, that we go into the Motherwell match without Allan McGregor and Nikica Jelavic for differing reasons.

We are missing Allan after the SFA saw fit to hold a Video Review Panel on an incident at Pittodrie and subsequently suspend Allan for one match.

We are fortunate that we can call on the considerable services of Neil Alexander who has never let us down when he has come in for Allan before and I am confident the same situation will apply.

However, we are also missing Nikica - not just for this game but for the remainder of the year it seems.

It really is a huge blow to us to lose him for such a period of time, just when he was beginning to settle down and work well with his new team mates.

It really is a sickener that the severity of the challenge on him at Tynecastle a couple of weeks ago meant that he had to have surgery.

It's a problem to us because James Beattie is not fully fit yet and Lee McCulloch has come back from international duty with a groin strain.

So we don't have our problems to seek as we start a week which obviously includes a massive European game with Valencia and ends with the first Old Firm derby of the season.

That said, we have made an excellent start to the season with a 100 per cent record in the SPL and we want that to continue but we recognise that Motherwell will be difficult opponents.

They have made an excellent start to the season and sit third in the table so clearly they are on good form.

We will need to work very hard to earn anything from them so we anticipate a tough match but, of course, three points is our target.

Walter Smith

I thought Beattie was fit?

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