A silver lining: Cup glory can help lift Ibrox gloom insists Rangers manager Walter Smith

Walter Smith insists Rangers owe it to their fans to win the Co-operative Insurance Cup after this season's disastrous European exit.

As his team prepare for battle with Falkirk in Tuesday night's semi-final at Hampden, Smith knows only silverware will appease supporters upset by the club's continental failure and subsequent cash constraints in the transfer market.

Determined to retain the trophy should the Ibrox club clinch a passage to a March 15 date against Celtic or Dundee United, he said: 'I think we showed last season how much we wanted to win this cup.

Walter Smith

Go for it: Walter Smith is urging his side to win the Co-operative Insurance Cup

'It came up in a heavy programme, but we still wanted to do well in that tournament and we lifted the trophy. It's no different this season.

'We are in it and we want to do well. For any team, reaching a Hampden final is a big thing.

'It is always good for the confidence of your team.

'That's important at Rangers and it's something this season, because we don't have the European football, that is still important.'

As Smith waits and wonders whether his players will attract bids during the transfer window in order to balance the Ibrox books, he insists his men are not being affected by external speculation.

'There might be a wee bit of negativity on the outside, but I don't think the players are being affected by anything that's been happening.

'It would be nice for everyone involved at Rangers if we can get back to another final,' added Smith.

Rangers' Kris Boyd

Rangers return: Kris Boyd is set to be recalled

The Ibrox boss has ruled out resting Allan McGregor or David Weir for tonight and seems set to recall 22-goal top scorer Kris Boyd to the starting line-up.

With Rangers struggling to ship players out, meanwhile, Smith confirmed the blatantly obvious by claiming he won't be spending in the current transfer window.

'We will not be bringing any players in,' he said.

'What I don't know is whether anyone will come and take anyone. I did say previously that, if we lost a few, we'd be able to bring someone in if we felt that would help us.

But, as it stands, we've only really lost Chris Burke (to Cardiff). That dictates we'll not be bringing anyone in if things remain the same.'

Rangers would love to clear Brahim Hemdani off their wage-bill before his £16,000-per-week contract expires in the summer and there were suggestions that Spanish clubs Villarreal and Espanyol could be interested.

Hemdani's agent Frederic Dobraje said: 'There has been contact with Villarreal, and Espanyol have shown interest, too.'

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