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Mendes makes a video appeal

Pedro Mendes has called for the introduction of goalline technology to avoid a repeat of the controversy which Rangers claim cost them a crucial win against Hibernian.

The Ibrox side are adamant a Nacho Novo effort in Wednesday night's match at Easter Road crossed the line but assistant referee Martin Cryans disagreed and Walter Smith's men were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw.

The result means Rangers head into the weekend action trailing Celtic by two goals at the summit of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

And, with so much at stake, Mendes believes now is the time for the game to embrace new technology to aid match officials when placed in difficult situations.

"It's not the first time I have been asked about this," said the midfielder. "There was a Portuguese programme a few weeks ago and they asked me that.

"On the technology point of view, there are some aspects I think could be improved.

"Not a massive change but, for instance, if the Hawk-eye system was brought in with a chip in the ball, it could help in incidents like this one.

"I think a Premier League chairman spoke recently about giving the referee a couple of seconds for someone to tell him if it's a goal or not a goal and I think that could be a step to helping the referees and helping the game."

It is the third time Rangers have felt hard done by this season. In August, DaMarcus Beasley was denied a winning goal at Aberdeen by an errant offside flag, while Kris Boyd was controversially flagged offside in November when clean through in the goalless draw at Motherwell.

Asked whether Rangers need some luck, Mendes retorted: "It's nothing to do with luck.

"This is about some bad decisions but there is nothing we can do about that.

"We try to put the ball in the net and if the ball goes over the line and it's not allowed, what can you do?

"There was big frustration after the Hibs game. We created enough chances to win.

"But, that particular thing about the goal, when you are frustrated after the game and there is some incident during the game, your anger comes even more to the skin.

"But that's gone now and we focus on the next game."

Next up is Aberdeen in the lunchtime kick-off at Ibrox, before Celtic face Hibs at Easter Road tomorrow.

With goal difference all that separates the Old Firm at the top of the table, Mendes knows Rangers will be expected to triumph by a hefty margin.

But he insisted: "The main thing is to win. We have to win.

"There is no point going into Saturday's game saying, 'We need to score, we need to score' and then do nothing.

"The main thing is that we need to win the game and we knew that weeks ago that we would have to win the games. We will see what happens after that."

Asked about the implications of Celtic claiming a fourth successive title, the Portuguese playmaker added: "The financial part of things isn't my area. All I can speak about is what is happening on the pitch.”

Belfast Telegraph


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