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CLARKE STANDS FIRM IN DEBATE

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KILMARNOCK boss Steve Clarke says he has no problems if he has upset Rangers gaffer Steven Gerrard.

The two managers will be on the Rugby Park touchline together this evening as their teams clash in an intriguing Scottish Cup-tie.

Gerrard was unhappy with Clarke’s comments after striker Jermain Defoe escaped censure for an alleged dive in the Ibrox side’s 4-0 victory over St Mirren a week ago.

Clarke cited the example of one of his players, Jordan Jones, being given a retrospective two-game ban earlier in the season after being found guilty of diving against Dundee.

That has led to a debate about consistency in refereeing in the Premiership and the Killie chief hit back at the criticism he received from Gerrard, a player he coached during their time at Liverpool.

UNHAPPY…Steve Gerrard wasn’t pleased with Steve Clarke’s comments. Pic: Geo.

He said: “I just want consistency and if in asking for that consistency I have to upset a fellow manager or another club, then that’s what I have to do. That’s my job.

“Why Steven chose to come back personal, I’m not too sure.

“I’m 55 years of age and I’ve got no worries about how I live my life, personally or professionally, so that doesn’t bother me.”

Clarke also repeated his call for greater consistency of refereeing decisions from the Premiership compliance officer.

He said: “That is what I am asking for, that’s all. If you are at a smaller club you tend to get fewer column inches and a little bit less exposure than you do at the bigger clubs.

“I just want everybody to be treated the same. I don’t think the outcome is consistent.”

Asked whether that surprised him, Clarke scathingly answered: “Not really.”

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Editor

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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