ST JOHNSTONE defender Steven Anderson believes Rangers’ Rob Kiernan will be hammered by the SFA after punching him in the stomach during last night’s 1-1 draw at McDiarmid Park.

The Ibrox centre-half was seen lashing out just before the interval, but the incident was missed by referee Crawford Allan.

Kiernan can receive retrospective punishment, but the TV footage won’t be studied by the officials until after the New Year – freeing up the former Wigan man to face Celtic on Saturday.

Anderson insisted it was a clear dig – and he warned his opponent he’ll be facing a SFA rap.

The Perth star claimed: “Yes, Kiernan punched me. It was a corner and he caught me in the ribs. Brian Easton saw it, as well. It was a clear punch on me.

“If that’s the way he wants to play, then it’s up to him – but he is going to get done for it.

“You can’t do that in football games. I’m not bothered, but if it gets highlighted then he deserves it.

“There was nothing happened before it. I was marking him at a corner and there was a bit of argy bargy – then he punched me.

“The referee said he did not see it and you can understand it because there was a lot going on in the box. The linesman has probably not seen it, either.

“I didn’t shake hands with Kiernan after the game, but only because I was too busy shaking other people’s hands and clapping the crowd.”

It was a bad night all round for Kiernan who also gifted the Saints their equaliser after Barrie McKay had put the visitors ahead. He was woefully short with a pass and Steven McLean snapped up the gift to level the encounter.
Gers boss Mark Warburton insisted he didn’t see the Kiernan and Anderson confrontation, but backed the defender following his blunder.

He said: “I haven’t seen the incident. I’ll watch it again when I get home.

“As for the goal, it was a mistake. We are all human. Show me someone who doesn’t make mistakes.

“How did Rob Kiernan respond to the mistake? Did he shy away from the ball or from a tackle? No, he didn’t.
“So, all credit to Rob. As long as he learns from his mistakes, as we we all must do, I’ve got no problem with that.”
Warburton’s side go into the Hogmanay fixture against runaway league leaders Celtic trailing by a massive 16 points having played a game more.
After his side’s 2-0 victory over Ross County the Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers declared that the pressure was all on the Ibrox side given the size of the gap that his team have created in an incredibly consistent season that has seen them drop on 2 from 57 points played for.

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