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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jan, 8, 2008

Gers pileup after St Mirren game waterlogged

Walter Smith has backed the decision to call off the Scottish Bank Premier League game against St Mirren even though Rangers are now facing fixture congestion over the next few weeks. Heavy rainfall and a waterlogged pitch prompted referee Stuart Dougal to postpone the match at Love Street around 6.35pm following two inspections of the pitch. The fixture was originally set to take place back in November and was postponed to allow Old Firm international players more time to prepare for Scotland's Euro 2008 qualifier against Italy. Rangers already have two other outstanding games, against Gretna and Celtic, to play in the SPL. But Smith said: 'There was a genuine concern for the players when you look at the conditions as they are and the forecast was to get worse. 'We just have to accept it. It makes things a little awkward to find an appropriate date because first we had the game against Celtic and now we have this game to worry about. 'We will have to sit down and look at the fixture list and find a suitable date.' Dougal insisted there was no way tonight's clash - which could have allowed Rangers to move four points clear of Celtic at the summit of the SPL - could go ahead. He explained: 'The first inspection took place when I arrived at 6.15pm and another one took place about 15 or 20 minutes later when the decision was taken. 'Ideally, I would have liked another 10 or 15 minutes but I knew in my heart of hearts it wouldn't make any difference. 'It could have been a bit of a lottery or worse. The safety of the fans and players was paramount. 'I spoke to the players and managers and everyone came to the same conclusion.' SPL secretary Iain Blair said: 'Rangers have a lot of midweek games and this adds to the problem but we will discuss it first thing in the morning.' Meanwhile, Smith said he had nothing new to report on Alan Hutton's future at Ibrox after the right-back was reportedly the subject of another bid from Tottenham.

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