McCulloch wants strong referee
Lee McCulloch hopes the officials chosen to oversee the Scottish League Cup final will be made of stern stuff.
Last Updated: 04/03/11 7:55pm
Lee McCulloch hopes the officials chosen to oversee the Co-operative Insurance Cup final will be made of stern stuff.
The Rangers man believes those in charge of a heated Old Firm clash between the Gers and Celtic on Wednesday in the Scottish Cup were 'easily influenced'.
The Scotland international was among those forced to watch that contest from afar, with injury having laid him low.
He is, however, still desperate to see Rangers get their hands on some silverware this season and is keen to ensure that their cause is not hindered by officials.
With that in mind, he has called on the authorities to ensure that they put forward a strong refereeing candidate for another derby date between the Gers and Bhoys at Hampden Park on 20th March.
"The referee has got to be stronger than what he was the other night," said the midfielder.
"I thought he was easily influenced, which isn't good.
"Come the cup final, we've got to be strong ourselves and hopefully the referee will be strong.
"As players we will look at ourselves. I'm sure the Celtic players will do the same thing and I'm sure the referees will look at themselves as well.
"Sometimes the referees can get caught up in the passion of the game as well.
"I've played in a couple of cup finals and, after five minutes, I've had referees following me around the pitch telling me to calm down when they've got veins bursting out of their necks."
McCulloch is also hoping that a cup final clash will be remembered for all the right reasons, rather than the controversial flashpoints which marred Wednesday's meeting between Glasgow's arch rivals.
He added: "That's where the responsibility comes in that the players have to take on themselves, of keeping a lid on it and not making a circus of what happened in the last game."
On a post-match scuffle between Celtic boss Neil Lennon and Rangers assistant Ally McCoist, McCulloch said: "On the training pitch, he [McCoist] is a fiery guy, he is passionate and he definitely loves the club.
"I just think he was sticking up for his players and the people around him. He has the club's best intentions at heart anyway."