Numan urges Diouf to focus

04 March 2011 09:00

Former Rangers defender Arthur Numan has urged El-Hadji Diouf to focus on his football and avoid any more flashpoints.

Diouf was at the centre of Wednesday's bad-tempered Scottish Cup defeat to Celtic, clashing with Hoops boss Neil Lennon before picking up a red card after the final whistle for dissent. Numan now wants to see the on-loan Blackburn forward - who once spat on a Celtic fan at Parkhead - resist the urge to court controversy and do his talking through his football.

Numan said: "It's good that he shows passion because he does everything to get a result for Rangers. But he was involved in so many things with the referee, the staff in the dug-outs and the supporters. Sometimes you are so busy with other things that you actually forget to concentrate on football and you get frustrated."

As well as Diouf, Steven Whittaker and Madjid Bougherra also saw red, while Lennon and Rangers assistant manager Ally McCoist clashed after the final whistle.

Numan added: "You should never take away the passion because that's part of the Old Firm. But, after 90 minutes, we had seen three red cards, 13 yellow cards, players fighting with each other, managers. That's not a good example, that's not the way it should be.

"I'm sure when they woke up the next morning, they probably realised what went wrong, getting caught up in all the trouble on the park and not focusing on football. You could see some of the players were busy with a lot of things on the park instead of actually concentrating on football."

However, Rangers chief executive Martin Bain believes the explosive events were sparked by the treatment of some of their players in previous meetings with Celtic.

In a statement released by Rangers, Bain said: "There was indeed increased tension at last night's match between the clubs, mainly as a result of incidents at previous matches where two of our players were the subject of extreme verbal abuse in the tunnel and around the dug-out area at Ibrox.

"Our management team are highly regarded across the football world for their approach to the game.

"Our assistant manager, who is acutely aware of representing Rangers in the best possible way, became embroiled in a situation where he acted in the defence of our players. He met Neil Lennon again after the match and is now satisfied the Celtic manager is fully aware of his views."

Source: PA

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