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Fantasy Preview: Week 13

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By ESPN Staff
Nov 4, 2007

Smith: I understand Messi's Gers frustration

Walter Smith admits he can understand why Lionel Messi would claim that Rangers play 'anti-football'.

But the Rangers manager insists his side cannot afford to open up and play the sort of flowing football which Argentinian winger Messi enjoys at Barcelona.

Messi accused Rangers of deploying stifling tactics after the goalless draw at Ibrox last month.

Yet ahead of the second Champions League Group E clash between the teams on Wednesday, Smith has refused to change his tactics to please the opposition.

Smith said: 'There can be a certain frustration from any player with Messi's level of ability - which I can understand and he's got a point in many ways.

'But we have to set our stall out to be successful in another way from them and maybe he has to realise that's the case.

'If every team in the world went out and tried to play against Barcelona in the way Barcelona play, they [Barcelona] will beat them every time.'

Rangers right-back Alan Hutton is relishing the Nou Camp clash, and another chance to face Thierry Henry.

Hutton has earned rave reviews for his performances for Rangers and Scotland this season - to the extent he has been compared to Brazil great Cafu.

'When I heard I just kind of laughed,' Hutton said.

'Even to be compared to somebody with a stature like his is unbelievable. That's a massive compliment. The lads gave me a bit of stick, they wound me up and told me not to believe the hype.'