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IBROX DUO IN WAR OF WORDS

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FORMER Rangers caretaker boss Stuart McCall has accused Ian Black of telling lies in an astonishing war of words between the ex-Ibrox duo.

The argument goes back to the afternoon at Fir Park in 2015 when the Glasgow giants were hammered 3-0 by Motherwell to lose 6-1 on aggregate and miss out on a return to the top flight.

Black blamed the stand-in gaffer for the defeat and, remarkably, claimed he was dropped to make way for Andy Murdoch because his auntie cut McCall’s hair.

McCall responded, though, by insisting the ex-Hearts player simply wasn’t good enough and accused him of being bitter.

The former Scotland international, speaking to the Daily Record, said: “Black’s comments are disappointing because they are lies. Ian is sounding like an angry and bitter little man here. The whole haircut thing is just embarrassing.

“He came to see me about four or five weeks into my tenure at Rangers. He was an experienced player, but Kyle Hutton and Andy had been given their chance in his absence.

“Murdoch scored a screamer at Raith Rovers and he was training well, too. Ian came to see me and asked what he could do to get in the team.

“I told him that if Rangers played with two holding midfielders he’d be in the team, but that we were trying to win games, so we didn’t need two.

GRIM WATCHING…Stuart McCall and coach Jim Stewart witness Rangers losing 3-0 to Motherwell at Fir Park in May 2015.

“Murdoch, who was taking his place, was the club’s most consistent player. Ian accepted that and told me that he would keep his head down and knuckle down in training and do his best.

“He did his best, but it wasn’t good enough to get ahead of Murdoch. Ian could only play one position and that was defensive midfielder and we had somebody doing that job.

“As a professional he trained really well but there was a lad ahead of him and I only played one holding midfielder who was playing better.

“Ian shook my hand and said he was glad he had spoken to me. He totally got where I was coming from and said he couldn’t argue with it.

“In the lead-up to the Motherwell games, Ian had hardly been involved. He was never going to feature in the play-off as I felt we didn’t need an extra defensive midfielder on the bench.

“He never really showed any respect for Murdoch, either, and he was one of our better players. Maybe he couldn’t accept that.”

ALSO-RAN…Ian Black can’t prevent Kris Commons from surging through in Celtic’s 2-0 League Cup semi-fial win in 2015.

McCall, who quit Gers at the end of an ill-fated campaign after 95 days in the hot seat, added: “Ian is suffering a bit from selective memory. A year ago, he was also banging on about storming out of
 my office when I was the Rangers manager, but that never happened.
“When I first went into Rangers, Black wasn’t even in the 18. He had been bombed after a defeat by Celtic.

“I knew the morale of the place was low when I took over as Rangers manager. I was told that a lot of the punters had turned on the players and had given up on them and Ian was one of them.”

The Ibrox side lost 3-1 in the first leg, but had the opportunity to turn things around when they visited Fir Park on May 31. They nosedived to a 3-0 loss and, ironically, John Sutton, brother of Celtic hero Chris, got the third goal via the penalty spot to condemn Rangers to another campaign in the Championship.

Mark Warburton took over as manager in the summer.

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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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