The Sunday Post (Inverness)
It is up to the players to end red-card madness
After yet another red card, Andy Halliday reckons its time Rangers’ players fixed their disciplinary problems in-house.
Gers boss Steven Gerrard took a proactive stance against his side’s high crime count in the run-up to Wednesday night’s clash with Aberdeen, dishing out a 15-minute talk on “discipline and control”.
The result was yet another ordering-off – a third of the season for Alfredo Morelos and Rangers’ eighth of the campaign.
In the aftermath, Gerrard told his sinning stars to start showing the club some respect. Now Andy Halliday is ready to lead a dressing-room campaign to stem the tide of sendings off.
“The amount of red cards we’ve had this season has been unacceptable,” he said. “Some of them have been harsh, let’s be honest. But some have been justified.
“It’s something that we need to address. “The gaffer tried to address it last week and our response was to let it get out of control again.
“So maybe it’s something the players need to have a chat about and see what we can do about it.
“At the end of the day, if it’s going to cost you points it’s going to cost you medals – so it’s something we’re certainly not happy about.” The Rangers dressing room has not traditionally suffered from a lack of leaders. There is no suggestion that it does today. But asked whether he saw himself as a man capable of being influential, Halliday said: “I’d like to think so.
“James Tavernier is our captain and he’s a very good leader. But you don’t need an armband to be a leader.
“We’ve certainly got people in there who can take the changing room by the scruff of the neck and give it a shake.
“I think that’s what we need right now. “When you look back at the red cards, we’ve managed to hold on to results quite a lot, which shows the character the squad has.
“But there have been a couple of occasions which have cost us points. That’s not good enough.
“What we have to discuss is what we’re going to do about it as players the next time it happens.
“Something has to change and we’ve not come up with the solution yet. Maybe it’s taking money off players.
“Sometimes you can’t leave it all down to the staff because they do enough.
“We might need to have a chat about what we can do in-house.”
It appeared Halliday might be heading for the Ibrox exit door in the summer.
Instead, he has played a key role for the Gers this season. Many of his 19 appearances have come at left-back, deputising for Borna Barisic.
Despite not being a position he prefers to play, it’s one he is familiar with.
And, ironically, it’s thanks to former Celtic player and manager, Tony Mowbray, who threw the then teenage Halliday in at full-back whilst at Middlesbrough.
“It was a bit of a baptism of fire,” said Halliday.
“He put me in against Blackpool, against Tom Ince, who was probably the form player in the league.
“I played really well, we got the win. “Tony Mowbray thought I could maybe have a run there, but then we played Crystal Palace and it was a torrid one for me.
“That was against Wilfried Zaha, who was very good. So my first two games were against Ince and Zaha.
“But it was a learning process. I was still a young player at that time. I think I was maybe 19 when I made those two appearances.
“So it was all part of the learning experience, two top players I played against and it stood me in good stead.
“Thankfully for Tony Mowbray at the time, he didn’t let that deter from the opportunity he gave me. I think I made a run of 15 or 16 starts at left-back, while George Friend was injured.
“It was a learning experience. I’ve not played there a lot, if any, in that position since that run.
“But thankfully I’m getting a few opportunities there now.”
If he plays on the left today, he will face a Dundee side who appear to have found their rhythm after a 4-0 midweek win over Hamilton Accies.
A Kenny Miller hat-trick helped the Dark Blues to victory.
And Halliday insists Rangers should be wary of their former striker.
“Kenny’s a good friend of mine, so I’m delighted to see him scoring goals,” he said.
“Personally I think Dundee are in a false position and we’ve actually dropped points over the last couple of seasons at Dens Park. “That’s something we need to be aware of – we need to do our job.”