RAGING Rangers stand-in boss Jimmy Nicholl blasted referee Steven McLean after his side’s 1-1 draw with Aberdeen at Pittodrie last night.

The former Ibrox defender criticised the match official for awarding a penalty-kick to the Dons in the 14th minute.

Kenny McLean, who had tumbled after a challenge from Alfredo Morelos, swept his effort wide of Jak Alnwick to give Derek McInnes’ side the lead.

Ross McCrorie rescued a 1-1 draw for the Ibrox team who are still one point adrift of the Dons as the Premiership heads for its conclusion on Sunday.

Nicholl was furious as he reacted to the whistler’s decision and said: “It wasn’t a penalty and it’s disappointing the referee gave it, especially if there’s a doubt. If there’s no doubt, I’d be standing there saying: ‘What are you doing, Alfredo? For goodness sake! You’ve cost us the game!’

“I’d understand if it was a blatant, stupid thing to do in the box. But it wasn’t obvious. It isn’t August with three games gone. It is the end of the season with two games to go and those were three points I thought we deserved and never got.”

Nicholl was also frustrated his men allowed themselves to be affected by the referee’s call.

He added: “They had to get on with it, but they didn’t. They got frustrated with the decision and lost their way. That was the annoying thing. We had to get them in at half-time and get the football head back on again.

“If you get frustrated with refereeing decisions, you lose concentration and you don’t do your jobs properly. They did that and it was a great second 45 minutes.

“It was a good goal from Ross McCrorie, a determined young player who went with conviction.”

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About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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