Rangers boss Steven Gerrard hits out at ‘cheap’ Hibs behaviour
The Easter Road centre-back was involved in a heated exchange with the Gers boss after allegedly accusing skipper James Tavernier of being a bad loser as the whistle blew yesterday on a pulsating 2-2 draw at Easter Road.
He had already been involved in an off-the-ball clash with Alfredo Morelos during the first half before finding his offer of a handshake snubbed by Gerrard and Tavernier as they made their way off the pitch at the end of the 90 minutes.
But Gerrard was in no mood to take lessons in sportsmanship from the Scotland Under-21 international after seeing his side’s seven-game British clean-sheet record ended by Drey Wright’s opener.
The Ibrox boss said: “I think Porteous was saying that Tav’s a bad loser, which I think is a bit cheap coming from him.
“He got sent off for a really bad tackle (on Borna Barisic) when he was losing 3-0 against us here last season.
“Hibs have played their part in a really good game today. We’re not happy with the outcome but there’s no need to panic.
“We’ve got a huge game on Thursday (against Willem II) we need to get ourselves ready for. One thing’s for sure, we’ll need to defend better.”
Porteous decided to keep his thoughts to himself afterwards, saying only: “I’m not bothered about that. What happens on the pitch should probably just stay on the pitch.”
Gers had gone 776 minutes since they last conceded a domestic goal back in March but that run was shattered as Wright fired past Jon McLaughlin.
But Gers responded with an Alfredo Morelos strike right on half-time before adding a second through Scott Arfield as they dominated the second half.
However, a Connor Goldson mistake put the Light Blues under pressure and they paid the price as Christian Doidge bulleted home a header after Martin Boyle swept in a cross from an offside position.
Gers should have snatched a late win but Ofir Marciano pulled off a breathtaking double save to deny Scott Arfield.
They now regain top spot but will worry Celtic – who sit a point back with a game in hand – have grabbed the title initiative.
Gerrard – who felt Paul Hanlon could have received harsher punishment than the yellow he got after catching Ianis Hagi with a flailing arm – said: “Every time you drop points as Rangers manager, it’s frustrating.
“We conceded two sloppy goals and we’ll look into that and speak to the individuals involved.
“From going a goal down, we did extremely well to get ourselves in front. Our second goal was fantastic, one of the best goals we have scored.
“From that moment, we need to manage the game better. That’s where the frustration comes in.
“It’s two points dropped and we go away frustrated.
“It’s very important at this level to get yourself in front. You can’t be passive and we were passive too much today.”
Hibs have now gone nine games without a win against the Light Blues but boss Jack Ross was delighted by the way his team took the fight to the Glasgow giants.
The Easter Road boss – whose side remain third, three points behind Gers, ahead of next week’s trip to Celtic Park – said: “We gave up the ball at times but in all aspects of the game we went toe-to-toe with Rangers.
“And they are obviously going to be up there at the end of the season.
“For us, eight games into the season, to be up where we are, have the points total and be around Rangers and Celtic – that’s because we’re a good side.
“And we’re a side with good players. I just remind the players constantly of that.
“I think they’ve grown in belief with every passing game and we’re going to need that again at Parkhead next week.
“But if we produce similar aspects of our game, there’s no reason why we can’t go and take something from that match as well.”