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Rangers dealt early blow as Mohsni dismissal stands

By Andy Newport

Rangers defender Bilel Mohsni will miss the Ibrox outfit's opening two games of the season after the Scottish Football Association upheld his sending off against Derby on Saturday.

The fiery Tunisia international was shown a straight red card by English referee Mark Heywood after aiming a flying headbutt at County striker Chris Martin towards the end of their 2-0 defeat at the IPro Stadium.

Heywood has now lodged his match report with Hampden chiefs, confirming the 27-year-old was sent off for violent conduct.

Under SFA sanctions, that offence carries an automatic two-match suspension and Mohsni will now sit out tonight's Petrofac Training Cup first-round clash with Hibernian. He will also miss the Scottish Championship opener with Hearts on Sunday.

It is understood Rangers will not be able to challenge the ban as the deadline for an appeal has already passed.

But Light Blues boss Ally McCoist has already admitted Mohsni's actions were "indefensible".

Now the manager has warned the player his wild temper is stopping him from fulfilling his potential.

"He has apologised because he knows he let himself down and let his team-mates down," said McCoist. "We can't afford needless red cards.

"There is a package that comes with someone like Bilel but we want to cut out the silly stuff. If he can do that, then it would be to the benefit of everyone at the club.

"I have had a very good chat with him and what I can say publicly is that he 100 per cent knows he was wrong. We can't accept that that type of behaviour at the club.

"That hot-headed streak certainly does not help him as a player. If he could cut that out of his make-up it would make him a better all-round player."

Meanwhile, McCoist admits he is keeping his fingers crossed that the club's off-field woes will become a thing of the past.

The Ibrox club have endured a turbulent two-year spell since rising from the ashes of liquidation.

The club burned through almost £70million in the first 18 months of that period and infuriated supporters have even gone as far as to organise a boycott of season-tickets.

But McCoist claims once stormy seas have calmed, he is hopeful he will be finally allowed to concentrate on football matters.

He said: "It would be great (if all I had to concentrate on was football matters). It would be ideal.

"I have to say that I think things have absolutely calmed down. There are obviously one or two things that happen in all clubs that are for board members to deal with.

"That's not my gig, I'm manager of the football club and hopefully I can concentrate on the football issues.

"Certainly I think we can all agree that there are still issues. That's fine, all clubs have issues. But we are in a far calmer and far better place."

Belfast Telegraph


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