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Rangers boss Smith angry with Hibs Novo reaction

Novo was dismissed with 10 minutes to go for a two-footed lunge on Thierry Gathuessi and was quickly followed by Smith, who was sent to the stand for a furious rant in the technical area.

The Rangers boss claims he did not have an issue with the red card, saying referee Craig Thomson was spot-on with his decision, but he was unhappy with the way the Hibs camp conducted themselves in the technical area.

Smith said: "I just felt, more than anything else, that the reaction of the Hibs bench was one that was poor. Throughout the match they were calling for yellow cards and ordering-offs and I just felt that their reaction to the tackle was a poor one.

"I've got no argument with the ordering-off - I thought the referee made the correct decision - although I do think the tackle looked worse than it actually was. To be fair, the Hibs player got up almost immediately and I don't think there was any great contact made with him.

"I thought it was a forward's challenge. Nacho just gets a wee bit excited at times. I didn't think there was any great intent in it. If there had been, then the player would obviously have been injured. It was a bit misguided but I don't think there was any intent to injure."

Smith does not expect any lingering ill-feeling with Hibs boss Mixu Paatelainen, adding: "He will probably come for a drink afterwards. I don't think there is any problem, not unless he has a problem. I don't have a problem."

Paatelainen was keen to play down the altercation with Smith afterwards, saying he was merely trying to prevent his own player from reacting to the tackle.

"There was nothing in it all," he said of his clash with Smith.

"I went to make sure that Thierry was calm after being challenged like that. I wanted to make sure he didn't react and get himself into trouble. Maybe Walter saw the situation a bit differently, maybe he felt it wasn't a harsh tackle and that's why he reacted the way he did.

"I don't know what Walter was saying even though he was shouting at full blast. It was such a noisy situation. I don't think it was anything personal, put it that way."

Paatelainen added: "It was a very dangerous tackle and I felt the referee dealt with it in the right manner. A two-footed lunge like that is very dangerous and careless play."

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Tribal Football Staff

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