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Gerrard bites back at Clarke over penalty comments

The Rangers manager is unhappy over Kilmarnock counterpart's diving claims.

Gerrard is unhappy with Clarke.
Gerrard is unhappy with Clarke. SNS Group

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has hit back at Kilmarnock counterpart Steve Clarke, accusing him of lacking class after Clarke discussed refereeing decisions in the last league match at Ibrox.

Gerrard's side were awarded four penalties in their 4-0 win over St Mirren and Clarke suggested that Rangers striker Jermain Defoe had dived to win the second spot-kick and should be subject to retrospective punishment.

Those comments annoyed Gerrard, who said that he had kept his own counsel after being unhappy with Eamonn Brophy's tackle on Ryan Jack during his side's 2-1 defeat at Rugby Park last month.

The Rangers manager said that the incidents against St Mirren were nothing to do with Clarke and he accused the Killie boss of trying to ensure Defoe is suspended when the teams meet in the Scottish Cup this weekend.

"I was very surprised by Steve's comments, first and foremost because it's got absolutely nothing to do with Steve Clarke or Kilmarnock," he said. 

"We didn't punish Jordan Jones, we didn't give the Kilmarnock player the two-game ban, so why he is trying to get one of my players banned is a surprise and a disappointment.

"Because that's not the type of guy I know Steve Clarke for - he is usually class, first-class, the dealings I've had with him as a player when he used to coach me, and since I've been at Rangers so very surprised at his comments and I don't think there is any need for them at all"

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1435236-clarke-unhappy-with-refereeing-standards/ | default

When told that if Defoe was to be cited and suspended this week, then he would miss the Scottish Cup match against Kilmarnock, Gerrard said: "If that's the case then that is probably why he has tried to do it - that's disappointing you know, to try and get an opposition player banned for two games.

"There was a game we played against them recently which was a blatant red card on Ryan Jack and I never mentioned it in the press out of respect to Kilmarnock and Steve Clarke so it's very disappointing and surprising for me that he is trying to get my player a two-game ban"

Picking up on the comparison that Clarke had drawn between Jones' ban and the incident on Saturday, Gerrard pointed out the differences between the two.

He said: "The two situations are completely different, Jordan Jones is a yard away from the opponent and dives and buries his head in shame in the turf because he is embarrassed over it.

"There is small contact on Jermain, none of my players appealed for a penalty, none of my players give the penalty, so, why should Jermain Defoe be banned?

"The referee made the decision, nothing to do with Rangers, nothing to do with the Rangers players, Jermain tried to bounce back up, didn't appeal for a pen, they are two completely different situations.

"The referee has dealt with the situation, it's been done, and we've moved on, we're talking about it now because the Kilmarnock manager has brought it up, not because we have"

Clarke's comments on Monday were part of a wide-ranging complaint about Scottish refereeing, where he bemoaned the standard of officiating and the consistency of decision-making.

He said: "Consistency of refereeing. One player runs to the crowd yesterday to celebrate a goal and gets a yellow card. One player runs to the crowd to celebrate a goal and doesn't get a yellow card.

"Five penalty decisions in one game... one correct, four wrong.

"There was an offside decision in our game on Friday night. Insignificant. It wasn't in a dangerous position, it was given offside by the East Stand linesman. Three metres onside. Three metres. That's the side of this desk or more.

"Has he been pulled up about it? Has he been shown it? Has he been told that it was wrong? Probably not. He probably doesn't even know it's a mistake. It has to be sorted.

"[Exasperated is] a good word. I think I find myself increasingly disappointed.

"Nothing's being done to address it. Nothing.

"One of our players was suspended for two games for going to ground too easily earlier in the season. There was a media furore. A witch hunt against the player.

"Nothing on the same scale from Saturday's game between Rangers and St Mirren. Nothing.

"Hopefully the compliance officer will do her job. It doesn't affect us. I'm not particularly advocating but i just want consistency.

"So if our player gets a two week ban then I look forward to seeing what happens this week."

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