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SFA deserve credit but Morelos blunder cost us the win, says Rangers boss Gerrard

By Will Jackson

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard commended the Scottish Football Association for overturning the red card shown to Alfredo Morelos on Sunday.

Morelos was shown a straight red by referee Kevin Clancy after appearing to kick out at Scott McKenna during the 1-1 draw at Pittodrie, a decision which drew criticism from Gerrard.

The former Liverpool skipper claimed "the world is against" his club following the decision, but he applauded the SFA after it downgraded the red to a yellow card, making Morelos available to face St Mirren on Sunday.

"The card has been rescinded, which we are very happy about," Gerrard said. "But that doesn't take away the fact that we believe we dropped two points because of that decision.

"We hope that doesn't happen to all the clubs in the SPL again and that you suffer from a decision of that magnitude."

He added: "We were disappointed with the decision at the time, but credit to the SFA and the refereeing department; they have overturned it.

"We understand how difficult it is to referee these big rival games, in any country.

"The referees have a difficult job and I respect it, but it's disappointing that we were on the receiving end this time round.

"Thankfully they have seen the right decision and overturned the red card which makes him available for the weekend."

Before taking on St Mirren in the Premiership on Sunday, Rangers face the task of hosting Maribor at Ibrox in the third round of Europa League qualifying tonight.

The Slovenian side have an impressive recent record in Scotland, beating Celtic at Parkhead four years ago.

They also played against Liverpool last year in the Champions League, something that has helped Gerrard prepare for the challenge.

He said: "I know quite a lot about Maribor.

"I watched both their games against Liverpool last season. They were in their group so I got the chance to see them up close on a couple of occasions.

"They are a good team, they have a bit of Champions League experience, will be feeling very confident, so they come to Ibrox in a good place.

"It will be a difficult challenge."

Gerrard's squad was boosted on Tuesday by the arrival of full-back Borna Borisic on a four-year deal.

He joined for a fee believed to be around £2m after impressing for Osijek in the second-round qualifying tie, and Gerrard hopes to add further players before the end of the transfer window.

Meanwhile, Rangers have rejected an offer from West Brom for skipper James Tavernier.

Reports claim the offer was £3million but sources have suggested the bid was some way lower.

Gerrard confirmed the right-back as his captain during pre-season but the new Rangers boss has also signed full-backs John Flanagan and Borisic.

Attacking full-back Tavernier, 26, joined Rangers from Wigan in July 2015 and has scored 28 goals and played almost 150 matches for the club.

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