Walter Smith: Promotion is crucial for Rangers and Scottish football

Walter Smith thinks promotion this season is vital for Rangers and for Scottish football as a whole.

Ex-Rangers manager Walter Smith has told the Glasgow Evening Times that promotion is vital for Rangers this season.

The Gers missed out on automatic promotion as Hearts won the Scottish Championship with plenty of games to spare, and the focus is now on second place for Rangers.

Hibernian are pushing the Light Blues all the way for the runners-up spot, which allows the club to sit out of the first two-legged play-off tie, before having to play a further four games.

Saturday sees Rangers face Falkrik, who are also vying for a play-off spot, and victory will be a must for Stuart McCall’s stuttering side who are struggling to string successive wins together, recording two wins, a loss and a draw in their last four games.

Speaking about the importance of Rangers getting promoted this season, Smith, was adamant that it is vital for Rangers and Scottish football that the Glasgow side return to the Scottish Premiership.

He said: "It will be a tough task, but it is obviously not beyond Rangers to do [win promotion]. They have got to get up this season. If they don't, you will have reasons why.

"But, in my mind, Rangers have got to want to be in the Premiership. That is where they play. It is going to take time. They are not going to jump into the Premiership and challenge Celtic right away.

"But that is where they should be playing. And, for Scottish football, that is where they should be playing as well."

Smith also points out that Queen of the South could pose a threat to Rangers if they make the play-offs, having already caused them problems on more than one occasions this season, including the 3-0 win at the beginning of April.

Rangers still have some difficult games to negotiate before thinking about a return to the top flight of Scottish football, and a change in consistency will be needed going into the play-offs regardless of how many games they face.

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