Novo sees red over Rangers' expulsions

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The Independent Football

Nacho Novo believes Rangers have been suffering at the hands of referees for the last few years, and not just this season.

The new campaign may only be five matches old but already Rangers have had three players sent off, with Pedro Mendes' dismissal at the weekend adding to red cards for Kevin Thomson and Madjid Bougherra.

Manuel Pascali also saw red – and seven other players cautioned – as Rangers and Kilmarnock battled out a goalless draw in the Scottish Premier League on Saturday.

Both sides felt the card count was not a fair reflection on the game, or that either side should have been reduced to 10 men in what was not a particularly dirty encounter.

But, as Rangers continue to count the cost of indiscipline with Mendes now banned for the visit of Aberdeen on Saturday, Novo insists the situation is nothing new.

In fact, he believes all clubs in Scotland's top flight have suffered as a result of poor decisions from match officials. Novo said: "In the last three years there have been really rough decisions for us, which you can see from the TV.

"These things happen in football. It's a hard job for referees and we just have to get on with it and try to think about the next game.

"I think it's like that for everybody - not just Rangers and Celtic. Sometimes it works out for you and sometimes it works against you. That's football," Novo added.

"Referees will always make mistakes but anybody can make mistakes. It's a difficult job. We are all human and we all make mistakes.

"The players just have to concentrate on trying to win matches."

With three draws in as many matches against Motherwell, Stuttgart and Kilmarnock, Rangers will be desperate to return to winning ways when they face Queen of the South in the third round of the Co-operative Insurance Cup tonight. Novo said: "Every game is massive and I know it will be a hard game for us down there.

"Last year we had the disappointment of losing to Celtic in the final but this year is a new start for everybody and we just want to try win matches."

First Division Queens ran Rangers close in the 2008 Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park, pulling level from a 2-0 deficit at half-time with two goals in four minutes only for Kris Boyd's late strike to land the trophy for Walter Smith's side, and Novo expects to face a side bursting with confidence when they make the trip to Palmerston Park.

The striker added: "I remember that game and they made it really hard for us, they played very well. They will be confident of trying to get a result against us."