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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 18, 2006

Hemdani rubbishes talk of rift at Rangers

Defender Brahim Hemdani claims Rangers' battling performance to grab a point in yesterday's Old Firm derby shows there is no disunity within the club.

Speculation of a rift between the Scottish players and the foreign imports emerged yesterday morning which Rangers manager Paul Le Guen refused to deny after an enthralling game in Govan which ended 1-1.

Thomas Gravesen shot the Bank of Scotland Premier League champions into a first-half lead which looked like extending the visitors' advantage at the top of the table to 19 points.

However, the Light Blues fought back after the interval, with Hemdani driving home a dramatic equaliser just three minutes from time.

Afterwards the Algerian-born player said: 'The way we played showed that we are together and we are a team.

'Some people have said that there are different groups within the team but that is untrue. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don't but we have a good spirit and we are on the right lines.

'It was good to see everybody happy but we need to carry on improving. We have done well in the last few weeks and we need to be consistent now.

'We had more chances than Celtic, we didn't score more goals but we didn't deserve to lose the game. It was a good moment for me and the team to score but it was too late in the game.

'It is difficult when you play well but wait until the end of the game to score.'

The 28-year-old had a remarkable 90 minutes.

Le Guen recently opted to move the player from his natural midfield role to partner the inexperienced Karl Svensson at the centre of the Rangers defence.

The former Marseille playmaker has struggled to convince the fans he has the attributes to be a defender and yesterday turned in arguably one of the most inept first-half defensive displays ever seen by a Light Blues player in an Old Firm game.

However, with minutes to go of an enthralling encounter, Hemdani's drive from outside the box took a slight deflection to loop over Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc and suddenly his woeful performance was forgotten.

The former France Under-21 international seemed unaware of the consternation his displays are causing among Rangers fans when quizzed about his role in defence.

He said: 'I can play in both positions so it is not a problem for me. The manager chooses what he wants to do.

It is not for me to decide, you have to ask the manager about it.'