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Rangers star Nicky Clark: It's crucial that Bilel Mohsni retains his passion to win or he'll lose a vital part of his game

4 Feb 2014 08:27

MOHSNI picked up his second red card in a month against Brechin on Saturday and had a poor disciplinary record at his last club Southend but Clark says it's vital the big defender doesn't lose his nasty streak.

JS31428499-3042532.jpg Bilel Mohsni celebrates

Craig Williamson/SNS Group

RANGERS bad boy Bilel Mohsni has amassed 28 yellow cards and six reds in British football.

But Ibrox team-mate Nicky Clark says it’s vital the big defender doesn’t lose his nasty streak.

The French-Tunisian was sent off again on Saturday and it put Ally McCoist’s men in bother as they ground out a 2-1 victory over Brechin.

His decision to boot the ball against Andy Jackson was branded “schoolboy” stuff by his manager and stupid by the likes of Lee Wallace and Clark.

But the Gers frontman – who is currently out injured – insists Mohsni is a Jekyll and Hyde character. And Clark is adamant that if the defender loses his desire or passion to win, he’ll lose a crucial part of his identity.

Despite Mohsni’s poor disciplinary record at Southend and Rangers in the past three-and-a-half years, the

22-year-old claims his team-mate is a different animal off the pitch.

Clark said: “Bilel’s just one of these players who has that streak in him. It’s part of him and you don’t really want to take it out of him. You need that in a player sometimes.

“He’s a determined big guy who wants to do well. But on Saturday he was just daft. He overdid it. It was a stupid second yellow but we’ve all done it. We’ve all made stupid mistakes.

“He made it hard for us towards the end of the game against Brechin but Bilel knows that himself – he admitted it.

“He’s brilliant around the place and a lovely big guy. Every morning he comes in and it’s, ‘How you doing everyone?’ He’s great to have about the place.

“Obviously, he’s a bit different when playing. He has a bit of hardness about him. I certainly wouldn’t fancy having a fight with him!

“If I kick him in training I say sorry straight away! If he kicks you he doesn’t mean it and he’ll apologise. You just get players like him sometimes – they are a bit different on and off the park.

“When I cross the white line, I change. You want to win and you’ll do anything not to get beaten.

“Most of us are like that and Bilel changes as well. But you need that.”

Clark revealed that Mohsni was visibly upset on Saturday night at the sending off that could have cost Rangers points against the Glebe Park side.

But he knows it’s imperative the defender keeps his emotions in check this Friday when Dunfermline arrive in Govan for a Scottish Cup tie.

Although Mohsni will be banned for the league games with Ayr and Stenhousemuir he is clear to take part in the cup clash.

Clark expects the Fifers to try to out-muscle McCoist’s men but warned them it will be pointless targeting Mohsni.

He said: “Bilel will bounce back. He’s normally quite loud in the dressing-room but it affected him after the game – he was upset and angry with himself.

“He’s a passionate guy and that showed what it meant to him.

“It’s important that he keeps his head against Dunfermline because it will be a battle against them. It’s vital that we keep everyone on the park.

“Every club, including Dunfermline, have tried to be physical with us. They think that’s the best way to beat us but we’ll take on that challenge.

“And we can give it out as well as take it. I don’t think trying to wind up Bilel would work. I wouldn’t do it, in case he flipped! Seriously, he wouldn’t do that.

“I know sometimes he doesn’t help the team – you saw that towards the end of the Brechin game.

“It was hard being down to 10 men but he will learn from that and I’m sure Bilel won’t do it again.

“He has been great for us this season and I think he’s good enough to play in the Premiership with Rangers.

“If we get through to the next stage of the Scottish Cup, there’s a good chance we could play a team from the top league. I’m sure he’d be up for that.”

Clark is still nursing a fractured foot but would love to be back for a quarter-final tie. It has been hellish watching from the sidelines but Clark admits his desire to play through the pain barrier probably made the injury WORSE.

He said: “The timing of it was frustrating because I was starting regularly and scoring goals.

“It was just a tackle in the first 10 minutes against Airdrie. I played on because I didn’t realise how bad it was.

“We didn’t know there was a fracture until I had a scan the following week.

“I probably made it worse by playing on. I knew it wasn’t right but was on the bench for our next game.”

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Normal for teamates to stick up for their own so that's good to see.

However plenty of previous Rangers have had bag loads of passion and also were able to keep the head. He doesn't need to lose his passion he just has to learn to walk away and let his football do the talking.

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