Fans praise thrifty Smith

RANGERS fans believe Walter Smith has proved once and for all he is not a cheque-book manager after clinching the Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League title against all the odds.

The 62-year-old claimed a second successive championship at the weekend, adding to the seven he won during the nine-in-a-row campaign in his first spell at the Ibrox helm in the 1990s.

This time around, Smith has been forced to operate with limited resources in the shape of a far more compact squad, no money to spend on new players in the last three transfer windows and no contract for himself or his backroom staff since the turn of the year.

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And, according to the Rangers Supporters' Trust, he has answered the critics who claimed his previous success at the Glasgow giants was all down to the copious amounts of cash he had to spend.

"If people had a criticism of Walter the first time around, it was that he had a lot of money to spend and how would he do without money?" said RST spokesman David Edgar.

"Well, he has just proved that he's a great manager. I think this is Walter's crowning achievement."