Motherwell target man Ryan Bowman managed to unite former Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha and Celtic’s Brendan Rodgers in criticism of his robust approach after his elbow smashed Rangers defender Fabio Cardoso’s nose during the Lanarkshire club’s BetFred Cup semi-final victory in October.
Their comments were restrained, however, in comparison with the ones he received on social media and the 26-year-old is aware that he will receive a hostile reception from the home support tonight when the teams meet for the first time since that showdown.
Bowman, pictured, escaped punishment for the incident with Cardoso and the prospect of being singled out for abuse from the Rangers fans does not appear to concern him.
“Every player gets stick and maybe I’m going to get a little bit more,” he said. “You have to deal with it; it’s part of football – you need to just play your game.
“I don’t thrive on it but it doesn’t bother me. It’s the same at Celtic because of that Kieran Tierney challenge last season. It doesn’t bother me; you just have to try and forget about it and move on.
“Having said that, the reaction to those incidents was a culture shock for me. It couldn’t happen against two bigger teams. It was the first time it’s happened to me and I was getting messages on Twitter saying I should have been sent off and people calling me a thug. You have to try and mute it as best you can.
“If you look at it, I’ve not had many red or even yellow cards throughout my career. I’d not been booked for using the elbow until this season. The referees are obviously looking at it a little bit more now.”
Motherwell have taken just two points from a possible 18 since losing to Celtic in the BetFred Cup final but Bowman believes they can prevail tonight.
“Rangers have lost their last two games and we feel, if we go there and play like we can do, that we can beat them,” he said
“We feel like we can go there and win. We’ve beaten them already so there’s nothing to say we can’t do it again.”