McCoist defends Lee McCulloch after Kayal comments

Ally McCoist has defended Lee McCulloch after the Rangers captain was branded a dirty player by Celtic midfielder Beram Kayal.

Lee McCulloch. Picture: SNS

The Israel international was out for four months with ankle ligament trouble after a tackle by the 35-year-old stopper during an Old Firm game in December 2011.

And according to the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, Kayal said: “The injury didn’t look that bad but I believe he did it on purpose. That player is not the cleanest in the world.”

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However, speaking at the club’s Murray Park training ground ahead of Sunday’s Ramsdens Cup final against Raith Rovers at Easter Road, the Ibrox manager said: “Anybody who knows Lee, knows he is not a dirty player.

Picture: Ian Rutherford

“I don’t think he is a dirty player at all. I can’t even remember the tackle or the incident.

“I defend my player and my skipper against any comments like that.

“With the greatest respect to Kayal, I would have the Old Firm games down as quite tame in comparison to some of the previous Old Firm games.

“I am not sure he would have enjoyed playing with Bertie Auld (former Celtic midfielder) and John Greig (former Rangers captain) in some of those Old Firm games, that would maybe have been a wee eye opener for him.

“But as I say, I would need to defend my player. He is not a dirty player at all and we are delighted with the skipper, the way he handles himself on and off the park.”

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