Smith happy with new charges
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Walter Smith says he is happy with the way his new signings are integrating into his side after they shone in Rangers' 6-0 thrashing of Motherwell yesterday.

The Rangers manager brought in strikers El-Hadji Diouf and David Healy from Blackburn and Sunderland respectively while Arsenal's teenage defender Kyle Bartley also arrived on loan in the January transfer window.

All three played in their side's emphatic win over Motherwell at Ibrox, their biggest league victory in 14 months, with central defender Bartley impressing in a holding midfield role and Northern Ireland striker Healy coming off the bench to score on his debut.

Rangers have a busy fixture list in the coming weeks with their Scottish Premier League match away to Old Firm foes Celtic next Sunday sandwiched in between two games against Sporting Lisbon in the UEFA Europa League. And Smith said with so many massive matches coming up it is important he can utilise all the players in his squad.

The pleasing thing recently has been managing to start to get the players that we brought in in January at least integrated into our team and starting to play.
Walter Smith, Rangers manager

"The pleasing thing recently has been managing to start to get the players that we brought in in January at least integrated into our team and starting to play," the Gers' gaffer said. "Obviously with the amount of important games that we have it is a matter of trying to balance the group that we have and to make sure that we try and maintain a reasonable freshness in our group.

"Kyle Bartley played in midfield which is a position he has played before but he is more of a central defender than midfield player but acquitted himself very well. We were keen to see whether he could fit into that. I think he showed that he can move forward quite comfortably into that role.

"You would see him from being a centre-half he would be a more defensive-type midfield player which is obviously the job we want him to do. But when the opportunity arises he has shown a capability of getting forward. He had an excellent pass through for our second goal so from that point of view we were pleased with the way he played."

Northern Ireland international Healy replaced Diouf in the second-half but still had time to grab the sixth goal to score on his debut for the Glasgow giants. Smith said: "David Healy also managing to get a goal was not only a big thing for Rangers but it was big thing for him as well so we are delighted he managed to do that. He has fulfilled one of his ambitions there so hopefully he can continue to add to his ambitions in the coming weeks."

I think he is starting to show that and he is just reaching full match fitness now.
Smith on hat-trick hero Nikica Jelavic

However, all three new signings were outshone by summer signing Nikica Jelavic, who grabbed a hat-trick Well to add to Healy's goal, an own goal from Shaun Hutchison and Steven Naismith's first-half strike. The Croatian striker recently returned after being sidelined for three-and-a-half months with an ankle injury and his manager says he is like having a new signing.

"Of course that was a big thing for us. We were always confident we had someone who was a good goal-scorer," Smith said. "I think he is starting to show that and he is just reaching full match fitness now."

However, due to his appearance for Rapid Vienna in the earlier stages of the competition Jelavic is not available for the Europa League competition. "Of course it is frustrating but all I can do now is wait for the next SPL game against Celtic," the Croatian striker said.

But he added: "We have a strong team with me or without me. It is nice when we have lots of players who can score. We showed we are like a family and I hope on Thursday we can get a good result."