Rangers to appeal against Rob Kiernan red card v St Johnstone

Rob Kiernan slides in to tackle St Johnstone's Graham Cummins
Kiernan saw red for this late tackle on Saints' Graham Cummins

Rangers hope to give defender Rob Kiernan a chance of facing Celtic next week by appealing against his sending-off against St Johnstone.

The centre-back was dismissed 12 minutes from time during Wednesday's win after a late lunge on Saints striker Graham Cummins.

He faces an immediate two-match ban.

That would rule him out of Saturday's Scottish Cup quarter-final with Hamilton, as well as the Premiership derby with Celtic on 12 March.

But caretaker boss Graeme Murty has confirmed Rangers plan to challenge referee Kevin Clancy's call.

The appeal would go ahead next Thursday, freeing Kiernan to face Accies - but they would then be left waiting on his availability for the Parkhead clash.

Asked if it was worth an appeal, Murty said: "I think so, yes. We will have to put some more meat on the bones of the appeal when we go to the board but I think it is definitely worth an appeal.

"As it stands he would miss this Saturday and next Sunday. If we appeal, it would be heard next week, so Rob would be eligible for Saturday."

Emerson Hyndman's late winner saw Rangers close the gap on Aberdeen, in second place, to six points, and extend their advantage over Hearts - in fourth - to eight points.

With speculation that Rangers could unveil their new director of football as early as Friday, with a new manager potentially to follow next week, Saturday's game against Hamilton could be Murty's last in caretaker charge.

He insists he has "no set goal in mind" for his future, but feels his brief stint in charge will only boost his own career.

"In my calmer moments when I make my decision about where I want to go, this experience - as difficult as it's been at times - will make me a better practitioner wherever I am," said the 42-year-old.

"It will make me a better coach, a better man-manager and better able to appreciate the athletes I work with, whatever age they are.

"I can only be thankful for this time and the developments I'll make."

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