Rangers set to trim squad
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Rangers manager Walter Smith is pondering widescale changes to his squad in the January transfer window, with several players set to be released.

Understandably, some of the boys aren't happy they've not been involved as regularly as they would wish. In all probability, our staff will be cut down.
Rangers manager Walter Smith on his squad.

"There are 28 people in the senior squad and that is a big staff," Smith told Rangers News. "First and foremost, we must deal with that situation as we don't need that many players and we have to address it.



"Understandably, some of the boys aren't happy they've not been involved as regularly as they would wish. In all probability, our staff will be cut down more than anything else but that doesn't stop us from looking at one or two positions we might need to fill as well.

"Obviously we have to do that in conjunction with people who may leave in the January transfer window. It may well be we just go with the squad we have at the moment."

Rangers are currently lying second in the Scottish Premier League, four points behind Glasgow arch-rivals Celtic, and of particular concern to Smith is his defensive options, with recent injuries having forced him to field forward Lee McCulloch at centre-back. However, Smith has not ruled out the 30-year-old providing long-term cover in the position, while Andy Webster returns from a loan spell at Bristol City in January.

"Defensively, Lee has come in and played in a position where he hasn't really played before except in the reserves over the last month or so," Smith said. "He has done really well in that area and we are pleased with the progress he is making at the back.

"Andy will also come back to us from Bristol City and that will alleviate our situation there too. We'll see what happens when his loan agreement ends."

Darcheville support
One player who could have been forgiven for fearing for his Rangers future was Jean-Claude Darcheville. But the French forward has been given a vote of confidence by Smith, after scoring his first goal of the season in Saturday's Premier League victory over Aberdeen upon his return to the side.

"Jean-Claude has not had a lot of opportunities to play lately but he did well when he came back in," Smith said. "It was a weight off his shoulders when he scored, especially because the boys were starting to give him a little bit of stick about it, as you can imagine.

"Sometimes, strikers go through spells where they don't score but Jean-Claude was in the right place at the right time on Saturday. Hopefully it can now lead to a few more for him. It would be great to see him score the way he did for us last season."