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Rangers cruise but Smith disappointed with Lafferty dismissal

The Scottish champions triumphed 3-0 at Hibernian courtesy of a Kenny Millar hat-trick but it was Kyle Lafferty's dismissal which concerned boss Walter Smith. The Gers chief is urging Lafferty to demonstrate more discipline after picking up a red card in only the second game of the season.

Both Lafferty and Hibernian's Kevin McBride were dismissed by referee Iain Brines following a melee sparked by Lafferty's challenge on Liam Miller.

Smith said: "I suppose this is the best time to get red and yellow cards when they are all fit but we don't want him to get sent off at any time of the season.

"Kyle has had a couple of things happen to him now and he is going to have to adjust and discipline himself a little better than he has done in the past.

"I didn't think there was that much in the incident, I think he was sent off for his reaction after the ball was kicked against him.

"I suppose in many ways that's natural but you couldn't blame the referee either. It was unfortunate but these things happen.

"It was a competitive game, it was a game that we actually needed to kick start our season and that was an unfortunate happening within the game."

Lafferty reacted to McBride kicking the ball against him after the initial challenge and Smith believes this was the reason for the red card rather than the tackle.

He added: "There was no challenge, he missed the boy, he stepped over the top of him. It was his reaction after the ball was kicked, that's why he was sent off.

"He didn't make contact with the boy at all. When he fell down afterwards, the lad kicked the ball against him.

"It was his over-reaction to being hit with the ball, that was why he was sent off and I can't blame the referee for that.

"That's what he's got to watch more than anything else but you've also got to look at the situation where the ball was blasted right at him.

"If you're going to criticise Lafferty, you've got to criticise the other lad for kicking the ball at him.

"But it was a competitive game, it was a good game. What do you want? For us all to run about with slippers on every week? An incident happens in the game."

Hibs boss John Hughes claims neither player should have been dismissed.

He said: "Truthfully? I don't think Lafferty's was a sending-off and certainly Kevin McBride's wasn't a sending-off.

"If he wants to pick out McBride for his part, he actually got rag-dolled more than being the aggressor.

"It's a little bit disappointing the players got involved in that, I know emotions run high and you're asking your boys to go and play but the game is hard enough without getting involved in all that and making the referee's job hard.

"But I still don't think McBride's was a sending-off."

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