Pressure can drive Rangers on, says Walter Smith

Kyle Lafferty celebrates after scoring for Rangers against Motherwell
Lafferty fired Rangers in front against Motherwell at Fir Park

Rangers manager Walter Smith feels the pressure to win can drive his side on as they seek to claim a third Scottish Premier League title in a row.

Smith's men won 5-0 against Motherwell to move four points clear at the top of the table with second-place Celtic having two games in hand.

"At Rangers and Celtic, you have pressure to win regardless of the situation," Smith told BBC Scotland.

"Sometimes you need a little pressure to bring the best out on you."

Kyle Lafferty's first-half opener was added to by second-half goals from Steven Davis, Nikica Jelavic and Steven Naismith, who scored twice, as Rangers ran out convincing winners.

"The second half was a terrific performance from us," said Smith. "We needed it, because in the first half we maybe allowed the conditions to dictate a bit too much to us.

"We played a lot of balls back to front, never really got any rhythm. We managed to get a goal up. In the second half, I thought we were excellent.

"Maurice Edu, whose been taking a bit of criticism recently, was excellent. I thought he played extremely well.

"We're just delighted that we managed to win the game.

"There were some terrific goals in the game, so we're delighted by that aspect of it. We missed one or two chances as well from good moves."

Celtic host Dundee United on Sunday before travelling to face Inverness Caledonian Thistle on Wednesday.

"Celtic know they have to win their games, we know that we have to win our games, especially us because we know we're going to trail as it stands," Smith said.

"The only thing that we can do is continue to win and hope that Celtic slip up and if that's a pressure then fair enough, but it's a pressure we would like as well.

"If you've been looking at the last five games of the previous seasons I've been here, points have been dropped.

"If it's the same trend this season then fine, so long as we're not the team to drop them.

"We can only continue to do what we're doing at the present moment.

"We have two home games now against Hearts and Dundee United. Dundee United have already won at Ibrox this season. These will be difficult enough games."

Meanwhile, Smith says there has been no movement on goalkeeper Allan McGregor's contract situation.

Speculation suggested the Ibrox club and the player were keen to hammer out new terms, but Smith also indicated that any new deal would not be dependent on the club being taken over by a new owner.

"There's been nothing on that," added Smith. "The situation's quite straight forward.

"As we're getting near the end of the season, everybody comes up with speculation.

"Allan had a couple of good saves for us in the first half of the game, as he's been doing in recent weeks.

"He's under contract for another couple of years, it's not as if he's free at the end of the season or he's a year to go.

"He's a couple of years to go in the contract that he has. We'll just have to wait and see what happens."