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Smith hails players as 'Gers move 10 points clear

Rangers manager Walter Smith paid tribute to his players for their ability to grind out results in testing circumstances after moving 10 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premier League.

The champions were boosted by the return of Kenny Miller, Nacho Novo and Steven Naismith from injury as they returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win at St Mirren.

But Smith admits it has been a tough month for the Ibrox club, who have seen their squad stretched to the limit.

Pedro Mendes -- despite being named on the bench for the last two games -- is still lacking in fitness, Kris Boyd continues his recovery from a hernia operation and Madjid Bougherra remains on Algerian international duty at the African Cup of Nations.

Even relief over Miller's return may be premature, with the striker struggling during the clash, and a slight question mark now hangs over his role for the visit of Falkirk at the weekend.

But, according to the Rangers boss, the one thing he can have no complaints about is his side's determination to keep putting points on the board: "We always work hard enough in the games. We have got a good attitude.

"They seem to have a winning attitude and they don't like losing. Even when they are not at their best they usually grind out a result."

Rangers enjoyed the best possible start to the game when Steven Davis netted his first goal of the season with just two minutes on the clock.

However, Gers fans had to wait until four minutes from time for Novo to secure the points.