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By ESPN Staff
Aug 30, 2009

Whittaker: Relaxed Rangers can defend the title

Steven Whittaker believes Rangers have sent out a strong message that they are unwilling to surrender their crown after notching up their third successive win.

The champions romped to a comfortable 4-1 win over Hamilton at Ibrox with both Whittaker and Kris Boyd helping themselves to two goals each. The win followed victories over Falkirk and Hearts and ensured Rangers remain at the summit of the Premier League.

"It was important for us to start well," said Whittaker. "We had a good pre-season and we're a little more relaxed this year. We have had three victories and we can't ask for any more than that."

Rangers manager Walter Smith has been unable to add a single new signing to his squad this summer, while several players have left the club since the end of last season.

"We showed last year we can deliver," said Whittaker. "There has been a lot made about the lack of transfer movement but we still believe we have a squad of players who can deliver again.

"We have shown in the opening three games that we have taken maximum points and hopefully that can continue."

Whittaker could have had a hat-trick against Accies but claims he is happy simply to be adding goals to his game.

"It would have been my first and something to treasure," he said. "But I'm happy to score any goal so to score two goals was pleasing. Here at Ibrox, teams come and play with one up front so it allows us to get forward more and I'm enjoying getting forward and chipping in with some goals."

Whittaker may be one of the more versatile players at Rangers but believes he is benefiting from an extended run at right-back.

"It allows me to add some consistency to my game," he said. "I'm definitely enjoying just playing at full-back at the minute and hopefully I can continue to play there."

However, he would be more than willing to switch to the other flank if it means a chance of playing in Scotland's World Cup qualifiers against Macedonia and Holland.

"Without a doubt," he said. "It's not my preferred position but anywhere I can get a game for Scotland and show people what I can do I'd be more than happy to fill in there."

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