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MANAGER Q & A.

WALTER SMITH

Q: Were you satisfied with the determination of your team?

A: United always give you a difficult game. I don't believe we started well and we were off the pace the first hour. Once we got the breakthrough and United had to come at us we created a number of chances and could have scored more.

Q: With Boyd off the field, what was the pecking order for the penalty?

A: There was no pecking order as such. Fleck was keen to take the penalty himself and all credit to him for having the confidence. He as taken penalties all through his youth career.

Q: How active or inactive will you be in the transfer market on Monday?

A: Inactive.

Q: Can Fleck handle this?

A:We must ensure we don't overplay him but he deserved his start and he has shown he has the ability to carry on. There will be ups and downs as with every young player but he has shown enough quality in the games he has taken part in to indicate he will be good.

Q: Is it important to put pressure on Celtic?

A: Just because we play one day and they play another there is no extra pressure - you must win regardless of when you play.

Q: Can Kyle Lafferty kick on from here now he is injury-free?

A:Kyle might have had another goal because he was wrongly ruled offside but it was good to see him doing well in his proper position.

Q: What was the nature of Nacho Novo's injury?

A: He has a badly sprained ankle and we are looking at two or three weeks out. He is a possible doubt for the Old Firm game.

CRAIG LEVEIN

Q: Was fatigue a big factor in the concession of two late goals?

A: The penalty was the biggest factor and if we were feeling tired the psychological blow of losing that late goal brought it home to roost. It is not easy to play the two best teams in the country in the manner we did. We worked our backsides off without actually playing that well. I am more frustrated we lost a late goal to a penalty in a game we could just as easily have won. The players are very disappointed and it is testament to them they come to Ibrox and expect to win.

Q: What was your view of the penalty incident?

A: I have seen it on TV and it was soft. Mihael Kovacevic has had a great game and not given Fleck a kick of the ball until the penalty. He got back goalside and the lad went down very easily. Mihael will be a good player for us.

Q: Did you miss Willo Flood?

A: How can you quantify that? Could we have won the game with Willo in the side? Who knows? Possibly.

Q: Will you be bringing in any new players before Monday at 5pm?

A: If I hadn't lost Scott Robertson to injury and Willo then we might have been okay but that's two of my regular midfielders so I really need to try my best and get someone in. As a manager you will lose players and we will lose more in summer if we keep playing the way we are. My job is to find more players to come in and fill their jerseys.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Feb 2, 2009
Words:568
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