Football: BORN AGAIN UNDER SMITH; Chris Burke on Rangers Boss's First Year Back in Charge

Article excerpt

Byline: Iain Campbell

CHRIS BURKE reckons Walter Smith can today celebrate the first anniversary of his second stint at Rangers in the knowledge the club have been "born again" under him.

Burkey is not dismissing the ill-fated reign of Paul Le Guen, but admits that the atmosphere at Murray Park has changed completely over the past 12 months.

Not least, the Ibrox club are looking down from the top of the SPL rather than trailing old rivals Celtic by almost 20 points.

Burke equally has reason to celebrate, having regained a first-team role after sitting out the first part of the season.

He said: "The whole team has progressed - that's what Walter has achieved in the past year.

"We're top of the league and it's a while since we topped the league. We're happy with the way things are going.

"There's a new life to the club. When the manager came in he brought Ally McCoist and Kenny McDowall and they keep training going by joining in.

"It's good and there is a new life at Rangers."

The Le Guen revolution now seems like a bad dream to most Rangers followers, but the winger points out that nothing succeeds like success.

He said: "I'm not going to say anything bad about the last manager. When a new manager comes in it gives you a lift.

"Things didn't work out for Paul Le Guen and these things happen. The new gaffer has shown what he can do."

Burke is benefiting from his long-running partnership with Alan Hutton and no one was more pleased to see the right-back turn down Tottenham's pounds 9million bid this week than the winger. …