FOOTBALL : Lee McCulloch has accused Rangers team-mate Madjid Bougherra of disrespecting everyone at Ibrox with his most recent failure to return from international duty on time.
Lee McCulloch has accused Rangers team-mate Madjid Bougherra of disrespecting everyone at Ibrox with his most recent failure to return from international duty on time.
The Algeria defender did not report back to his club as scheduled last Friday after helping his country qualify for the World Cup with a play-off triumph over rivals Egypt. It was not the first he has transgressed in this manner and manager Walter Smith left him on the bench on Tuesday night as Rangers were knocked out of the Champions League following a 2-0 home defeat to Stuttgart.
“It’s not really for me to say but if it is the third time that it has happened, and I honestly don’t know if it is, then it’s not good enough,” McCulloch said. “He’s got to show a bit of respect to his fellow players and show a bit of respect to the management and bit of respect to the fans.”
In the build-up to the match Light Blues’ striker Kenny Miller criticised Bougherra, saying: “If you are given a time to come back, you come back. It’s as simple as that.”
McCulloch was thinking along the same lines as he spoke after the defeat by the German side which left Rangers bottom of Group G with two points from five games and without even the consolation of a Europa League place.
He added: “He has just come off a great result and is on a high from the World Cup. I’m not making excuses for him but I think if that was any Scottish player then there would be serious repercussions.
“We need all our best players and Madjid is one of our best players. We need everybody fighting the same corner and going in the same direction.
“He is not a problem in the dressing room, he is a quality player and we want him back as soon as possible. So hopefully this can all blow over and he can get back to doing what he does best.”