Peter Lovenkrands '˜Rangers can't complain over Brown appeal'

Peter Lovenkrands insists Rangers can have no complaints about Celtic captain Scott Brown's disciplinary reprieve ahead of Sunday's Old Firm Scottish Cup semi-final, insisting the Ibrox club would have had no hesitation in using the appeals system to their own advantage in a similar situation.

Former Rangers winger Peter Lovenkrands says the Ibrox side would have used the appeal system themselves. Picture: SNS
Former Rangers winger Peter Lovenkrands says the Ibrox side would have used the appeal system themselves. Picture: SNS

Brown will be free to play at Hampden despite the straight red card he received at the end of Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Ross County in Dingwall which triggered an automatic two-match suspension.

Celtic plan to lodge an appeal against the dismissal, issued by referee Don Robertson for Brown’s foul on County striker Liam Boyce, when the SFA 
offices re-open for business today after their Easter weekend break.

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The holiday schedules dictate a fast-track disciplinary hearing for Brown, which would normally have been held this Thursday, cannot now take place until 27 April. That means the Scotland midfielder will be available to lead Celtic in Sunday’s showdown with Rangers as they pursue a first treble for the Parkhead club since 2001.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers initially said they had no complaints about Brown’s sending-off but former Rangers winger Lovenkrands believes the Parkhead club are fully justified in seeking to exploit any technicality which will allow their influential skipper to play.

“If I look at it from Rangers’ point of view, why would you not take advantage of the system?” said Lovenkrands.

“That’s the way it’s been proved to do it, so, of course, you would do it. If it had been Rangers, they would have done the same thing. So they are just taking advantage of the system and it’s worked in their favour.

“I have no issue with it. It’s the way it is and if there’s a gap (in the rules) they can exploit to make sure he can play, then fair-dos.”

Lovenkrands, speaking at a William Hill media event at Hampden, is optimistic about Rangers’ prospects of upsetting the odds and securing a first Old Firm victory in five attempts this season.

The former Danish international was among the former Ibrox players interviewed by new manager Pedro Caixinha for a place on his coaching staff. Despite losing out on the post to Jonatan Johansson, Lovenkrands has been impressed by Caixinha and his early impact on Rangers.

“Sunday isn’t going to faze him. I don’t think anything will,” said Lovenkrands. “After meeting him and speaking to him, I think he knows what he wants and is very focused on what he is looking for from the players and the club.

‘He will be probably be more excited about Sunday than anything. The thing that impressed me most about Pedro when I met him was his ideas and the way he’s thinking football-wise. We had the same type of mentality in terms of our thoughts on football and training. He came across as very clever. He knows his stuff, and he appears to be very hard working in terms of preparation.

“He’ll be fine in his first experience of the derby but only time will tell because the Old Firm can get to anyone in the heat of the moment and we’ve seen that before.”