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Complaint against ref Collum isn't personal, insists Gerrard

Rangers v Motherwell, Premiership: Ibrox, Tomorrow, 3pm

Daniel Candeias' celebration
Daniel Candeias' celebration
Card marked: Willie Collum gives Daniel Candeias a second yellow after celebration

By Ronnie Esplin

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard insists he has no personal issue with Willie Collum but called for "common sense" to prevail following the referee's dismissal of Daniel Candeias last week.

The 30-year-old was sent off by Collum soon after Rangers scored a second goal in stoppage-time of the 2-0 win at St Mirren although footage appeared to show Anton Ferdinand had been the aggressor in a clash seconds earlier.

The Ibrox club released a statement on Thursday announcing they would make a formal complaint over Collum after losing their appeal against Candeias' second yellow card.

The statement concluded: "This is by no means the first time errors of judgment have been made in matches involving this official and clearly there is an underlying issue which requires to be addressed."

However, ahead of the visit of Motherwell in the Ladbrokes Premiership tomorrow, which Candeias will miss, Gerrard said of Collum: "I think he is a good referee in general, he has been picked by Uefa to be a referee.

"It is not a personal issue at all. We all make mistakes, we are all human. It is my responsibility to support the referees and officials in this country, it is not a big talking matter.

"It is just a clear mistake and we are trying to get it resurrected and we'll see how it pans out.

"I just think we need common sense in the game and if mistakes occur we should have a panel in place to resurrect them, not just from a Rangers point of view from a football point of view.

"If clear mistakes are made you should be able to resurrect them."

Asked if he had received an explanation for Candeias' second yellow card, the Gers boss said: "No, that's an ongoing matter. I haven't got any more to add only that I am disappointed with the outcome.

"I was hoping common sense would prevail, it hasn't so far.

"So we carry on pursuing it as a club. I don't expect anything, I will wait and see what happens and how it prevails."

Eros Grezda can't wait for tomorrow afternoon to come in the hope that he can take any opportunities that come his way.

The Albanian winger had his first start for the club in the last Premiership match away to St Mirren and he is likely to start the match this weekend with Candeias and Ryan Kent missing.

Grezda was signed from Croatian side NK Osijek in the summer and due to him missing pre-season with an injury, he has needed to be patient to get back to fitness.

After playing against the Buddies and coming on against Spartak Moscow on Thursday, he is ready for action.

Grezda said: "I really can't wait for this game because now I have to be in the places that Ryan Kent and Daniel Candeias are missing. So it is a big game for us and for me and I hope for the win."

Motherwell pegged Rangers back in a 3-3 draw at Fir Park in August, but since then have picked up points in just four more league games, and sit fourth bottom, albeit seven ahead of the relegation play-off place in 11th.

Goals have proved a problem for Stephen Robinson's side, and a return of 11 in as many games has left him hopeful that Curtis Main, who has not scored since the end of September, can return to form.

"We continually worked on things with Curtis and the other four strikers that we've got, including the two young boys," said Robinson. "He just needs to go on a run. He came here last year and hit the ground running and as strikers you have that.

"You get those periods where you don't score and things don't go your way and then it just turns very quickly. He has to keep doing the right things, and we have to keep creating the chances."

Belfast Telegraph


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