Kilmarnock boss Clarke says Rangers manager Steven Gerrard got 'more personal'

Steve Clarke and Steven Gerrard
Steve Clarke and Steven Gerrard have faced each other as managers three times already this season
Scottish Cup: Kilmarnock v Rangers
Venue: Rugby Park Date: Saturday, 9 February Kick-off: 17:15 GMT
Coverage: Listen on BBC Radio Scotland 810MW/DAB/online; live text commentary on the BBC Sport website & app

Steve Clarke has questioned why Rangers boss Steven Gerrard was "more personal" over the Kilmarnock manager's recent comments about referee decisions.

Gerrard said Clarke was "trying to get one of my players banned" after Jermain Defoe went down under Paul McGinn's challenge to win one of four Rangers penalties against St Mirren.

But Clarke reiterated he was looking for "consistency".

"I mentioned some incidents, no names," said Clarke.

"I mentioned the fact that one of our players and another player, I didn't mention the name, were involved in similar incidents and I just asked for consistency of the process.

"I'm a little bit disappointed, obviously, that Steven came back more personal than I had [when I] made the original comment. I made a wide-ranging amount of comments about consistency and I've been consistent in asking for consistency since August."

Killie winger Jordan Jones, who will join Rangers in the summer, was banned for diving in the summer.

"I said there was a media witch hunt against our player, which there was," said Clarke. "It was ridiculous, it went on for the full week - it felt like a month.

"The head of refereeing got involved, supporters groups got involved, it was crazy. And then the [Scottish FA] compliance officer got involved, my player got a two-match ban. We accepted it, moved on and I just want consistency.

"If in asking for that consistency, I have to upset a fellow manager or another club then that's what I have to do because that's my job. Why Steven chose to come back personal, I'm not too sure."

'Class is subjective'

Clarke was a coach at Liverpool during Gerrard's time at Anfield as a player and the former Liverpool midfielder said on Tuesday: "That's not the type of guy I know Steve Clarke as. He is usually first-class [in] the dealings I had with him as a player when he used to coach me, and since I've been at Rangers."

And Clarke responded: "Class is subjective. I'm 55 years of age. I've got no worries about how I live my life personally or professionally so that doesn't bother me."

Kilmarnock host Rangers in Saturday evening's Scottish Cup last-16 tie two-and-a-half weeks on from beating the Ibrox side in the Premiership.

"It should be a cracker," said Clarke of the fifth-round tie.

"It's always nice when you've had a recent victory against one of your top opponents or big opponents."

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