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Gers boss takes responsibility

Rangers manager Walter Smith admits he was disappointed by the reaction of some of his players at the end of Wednesday's Old Firm derby.

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Madjid Bougherra was sent off in injury-time and El-Hadji Diouf was shown a red card following the final whistle, after Steven Whittaker was dismissed in the first half at Celtic Park.

Smith acknowledges it is now his responsibility to ensure the discipline improves ahead of the Co-operative Insurance Cup final between the two clubs on March 20.

He said on Friday: "I was a little disappointed with the reaction of some of the players to decisions later in the game. They did get a little frustrated. You can argue about the right or wrong decisions of the referee but our reaction towards the end was a wrong one.

"That's something I have a responsibility to try to rectify. I don't hide away from that, that's part of management. I've got to take responsibility for that and will try to do so.''

Rangers and Celtic will contest the first silverware of the season at Hampden before meeting for a seventh time this season at Ibrox in the SPL. But Smith says there is no reason to fear a repeat of the events from the Scottish Cup replay.

He added: "From a Rangers point of view I was disappointed with the reaction which was mainly out of frustration towards the end. But I don't think we should start saying that every Old Firm game will finish up like that one.

"It doesn't mean the two remaining fixtures will be like the one the other night, they might be like the other four this season which didn't throw up any great problems at all.''

Assistant manager Ally McCoist and Celtic boss Neil Lennon were also involved in an angry exchange at the end of the game but Smith claims there is no lingering problems between the two men.

He added: "Alistair and Neil were on talking terms after the game. It's something that won't carry on after the game.''

Meanwhile, midfielder Lee McCulloch, who is injured and was unable to take part in the game, believes the fall-out from Wednesday's match has been over the top.

"I'm proud to be part of Rangers,'' he said. "I just think everybody has blown it out of proportion. For me, all it was was an argument and a couple of tackles.''


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