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Rangers star Naismith calls time on whistle-blower criticism

Steven Naismith insists everyone should give referees a break — despite being the victim of a controversial decision at the weekend.

The Rangers forward was denied the opener against St Mirren when match official Craig Thomson disallowed his effort because of a foul in the build-up.

The player was unhappy with the decision at the time, but went on to score again as Rangers ran out eventual 3-1 winners.

However, he refused to point the finger at Thomson, insisting Rangers should be good enough to win games despite such controversial calls.

“There needs to be a lid put on the whole referee thing, with everybody on their backs every week,” said Naismith.

“It's the hardest job in football. You're never going to be right, one set of fans is always going to be unhappy with your decision.

“Luckily on Sunday we managed to get a few more goals — although I’d have liked another.

“The refs have got a hard job as it is and it was a 50-50 decision that went against us, but it didn't have any impact on the game.

“I'm not going to blame the ref for one decision if we had drawn at St Mirren.

“We know we've got the players and the team can get results. We don't need to complain about referees and every decision that's made.”

Meanwhile, Gers’ boss Walter Smith has urged his team to up their concentration levels and warned they will need to be back to their best again for the visit of Hibernian tonight and Aberdeen at the weekend.

“It's a mental thing as much as anything else,” he said. “We have been a little bit flat at times in parts of games we have played.

“That's a natural thing with not having a big group and asking the same boys to play all the time.

“In fairness to them, they show a good reaction to that. In the first-half of the game at St Mirren they were a little bit flat.

“After half-time, we were excellent and managed to get the goals that eventually won us the game. These are things that we have to overcome.

“The two games that we have this week, against Hibs and Aberdeen, will be difficult ones and we know we can't afford anything like that.”

Belfast Telegraph