As a manager, I try to keep complaints a secret.

When something flares up and requires an answer, it is my style to have a quiet word in my ear next time.

But on this occasion I feel the need to make an exception.

It was the naivety in the comments to my club Livingston from Rangers manager Steven Gerrard that surprised me.

Before our game against Rangers on Sunday, he asked referee Nick Walsh to take out insurance
Players were protected.

Protected from what? It's the Tony Macaroni Arena they drive into – not Madison Square Garden.

There is a bit of background to his concerns and, annoyingly, a bit of history being rewritten.




In our League Cup game in September, Ricki Lamie was mentioned for his role in an incident in which Joe Aribo of the Rangers had a head injury.

Gerrard claimed that one elbow had been thrown, and the incident would have resulted in a red card in every country in the world that is not our country.

His remarks were forwarded to me at that time.

There was also a suggestion that I had not cared for Joe at the time – that was
absolute nonsense.

The fact is that no elbow was thrown.

It was Ricki's shoulder involved in the collision and as for Joe, we had a conversation after the game as I checked on his welfare.

As far as his claims are concerned, the collision deserves a red card, which in turn constitutes disagreement. I just did not agree with Gerrard. I have followed my own advice.

Gerrard claims that medical teams were in the park four or five times in the first half. Again, I would suggest that the facts need to be verified.




And if you look at the match stats this evening, you'll see Rangers commit 14 fouls, three more than my side.

What worries me, however, is a remark that the Rangers boss has placed in the recent media focus on head injuries and the effects of concussions.

It's not that the way my players approach a game inflicts more damage on their opponents.

Football is a contact sport. Injuries are sustained – it is a professional hazard. Our game has not implemented any concussion protocols, and that's a problem. I would support any action that was considered appropriate. But to say that our club is one in which head injuries are the norm is offside.

I'd rather compliment Rangers for having some great players.

Therefore, Livingston will try to make it this afternoon once again as ugly and unpleasant as possible for her.

If you give average players the freedom to stay on the ball, you lose more games than you win. However, if you allow class operators, of which there are many Rangers, they run down the line.

We can not allow that, so we will develop a system and approach designed to cause problems and make it uncomfortable. We have to play our strengths and I will not apologize for that.

We should never be ashamed to do what we can.

Who thinks an association with Livis means embarrassing, should not be ashamed
To let the opposition play or to get their faces is a joke.

When I read Gerrard's claim for protection for the first time, he also triggered another thought.

Would someone like Walter Smith have made similar comments before a match between Livi and a Rangers-state club?

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