Rangers pyro charge but no chance of Ibrox clo­sure

Scottish Daily Mail - - Football - By BRIAN MAR­JORIB­ANKS

RANGERS were last night charged by UEFA in re­la­tion to their fans set­ting off fire­works dur­ing their Europa League meet­ing with Feyeno­ord. How­ever, they will face no ac­tion over al­leged sec­tar­ian singing at the game af­ter nei­ther the match del­e­gate nor the rep­re­sen­ta­tive from anti-dis­crim­i­na­tion group FARE men­tioned any such in­ci­dents in their re­ports. The Ibrox club faced an anx­ious wait over the week­end af­ter it was claimed that some fans in­dulged in an of­fen­sive chant when a ver­sion of Neil Di­a­mond song

Sweet Caro­line was played dur­ing last Thurs­day’s 2-2 draw in Holland. Had UEFA pur­sued a dis­ci­plinary case against Rangers, it would have raised the pos­si­bil­ity of Ibrox be­ing empty for the de­ci­sive Group G showdown with Young Boys

on De­cem­ber 12 — or a fu­ture Euro­pean game. But, last night, a UEFA spokesman told Sports­mail: ‘No dis­crim­i­na­tory be­hav­iour has been re­ported by the del­e­gate or the FARE ob­server af­ter the match be­tween Feyeno­ord and Rangers on Novem­ber 28 in the Nether­lands.’ Rangers sources claim the match del­e­gate praised the be­hav­iour of the trav­el­ling fans out­with the small sec­tion that let off py­rotech­nics. The club have con­firmed they will crack down on any fans who caused trou­ble on the trip to Rot­ter­dam and a spokesman said: ‘We are in the process of ban­ning the in­di­vid­u­als re­spon­si­ble for dis­play­ing an of­fen­sive ban­ner while en route to Holland last week and if those re­spon­si­ble for the flares can be iden­ti­fied, they will also be banned.’ Dis­ci­plinary pro­ceed­ings were also opened against Feyeno­ord over their fans set­ting off fire­works and stair­ways in their De Kuip sta­dium be­ing blocked. Rangers’ fo­cus now turns to to­mor­row night’s trip to Pit­to­drie with Derek McInnes warn­ing his Aberdeen play­ers they’ll be ‘put to the sword’ by Steven Ger­rard’s ram­pant side if they don’t show much­needed ag­gres­sion. The Dons have al­ready suf­fered two hu­mil­i­at­ing de­feats at the hands of Scot­tish foot­ball’s Big

Two this sea­son, go­ing down 5-0 at Ibrox — the heav­i­est loss of McInnes’ reign — and los­ing 4-0 at home to Celtic. Wary of the threat posed by Ger­rard’s men, the Aberdeen gaffer un­der­stands the po­ten­tial dam­age an­other drub­bing would do to his side’s rep­u­ta­tion and morale. ‘We’re mind­ful that, if given time and space to op­er­ate, they can put you to the sword,’ said McInnes. ‘We’ve got to be ag­gres­sive in our one-to-one de­fend­ing over the pitch. We’ve got to have con­fi­dence and con­cen­tra­tion. ‘Be­ing at home with the vast ma­jor­ity of the crowd be­hind us, we’ve got to show an in­tent to win the game. ‘That is im­por­tant. I’ve spo­ken to the play­ers about this al­ready. ‘We’ve got to recog­nise the qual­ity of the op­po­si­tion and not let them en­joy the game. ‘I’m not say­ing they’ve got to go around kick­ing peo­ple, but they’ve got to know that we’re against them, know that we’re there. ‘If they go and stick one in the top bin from 30 yards or there’s a bit of in­di­vid­ual bril­liance, you some­times have to ap­plaud that and say it made the dif­fer­ence. ‘But, for us, we were guilty of giv­ing away cheap goals — and that’s a mind­set thing.’ McInnes rates Niall McGinn as ‘50-50’ to make the start­ing line-up. ‘We don’t think it’s any­thing sig­nif­i­cant but the game might come a bit too quick for him,’ he said. And he in­sisted the Dons haven’t opened ne­go­ti­a­tions with any club over the sale of Sam Cos­grove de­spite fresh links with Stoke City. ‘There has been no con­ver­sa­tion with any Championsh­ip club,’ McInnes said. ‘We all know how im­por­tant Sam is to us. ‘If the right of­fer comes in for any of our play­ers, play­ers will be sold. All we can do is be in a strong po­si­tion to say yes or no if the of­fer comes in. ‘I think we are in a po­si­tion to say yes or no and that’s not al­ways the case.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.