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Struggling Rangers still looking up

Ireland Rangers have struggled to get going this season after picking up just one point from their first nine games to sit bottom of the First Division.

However, coach Wayne Smith is still optimistic going into the second half of the campaign that his team can improve their position.

“I know we are going to improve based on the players I have,” Smith said. They are starting to hold their own. I have a good group of players that will work hard.

“I've just got a few new players, so I am picking them based on training and match performance.”

Smith believes a mid-table finish will be realistic for Ireland Rangers. They earned their first point of the term with a 1-1 away draw to Vasco da Gama at Malabar last weekend to make a positive start to the second half.

“I feel we should aim to finish somewhere in the middle; trying to take 15 points would be a great achievement. It would be a miracle if we can pull it off. Our ultimate goal is to take at least a point out of every remaining game.”

Smith, 39, revealed that the West End team are at a disadvantage with regards to training.

“We don't have any training facilities or lights, so that is unfortunate,” he said. “However, I have tried my best to utilise what I have.”

Jonté Pearson is Rangers top scorer with four goals, while they have conceded 32 goals from nine league matches this season. Smith always tries to remain positive, despite the difficult start.

“I just try to give the players a positive mindset, to ensure that they stick to the wicket, and they take that attitude on to the field,” he said.

Rangers reached the Shield Trophy quarter-finals before losing to Vasco, and Smith said his side's impressive run in the competition has given them an injection of confidence.

They have scored in their last four games in all competitions.

“This run has already started to build our confidence and ever since then we have been scoring goals,” he said.

“If everyone sticks together, the vibe will remain positive in the camp. Unfortunately, Bermudian [footballers] don't get paid and work becomes more important than recreational football.”

Rangers' attempt to resurrect their season resumes when they visit leaders St George's Colts at Wellington Oval on Sunday.

Looking up: Vasco's Diogo DeSousa sticks in a high boot to keep the ball away from Jiriko Powell, of Ireland Rangers, at Bernard Park last season (File photograph by Lawrence Trott)

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Published January 08, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated January 07, 2020 at 7:59 pm)

Struggling Rangers still looking up

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