Templeton: Ian is Black marked

David Templeton jumped to the defence of Rangers team-mate Ian Black today claiming he is being singled out by referees.

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Ian Black was booked at Annan
Ian Black was booked at Annan

The Ibrox midfielder was booked in the 3-1 win over Annan – the Ibrox club's 11th successive victory which saw them go 17 points clear of Peterhead in the Irn-Bru Third Division.

The SFA will today confirm if this was his sixth caution in the league – if so, it will earn him a suspension.

Templeton, though, believes his former Hearts team-mate is receiving special attention from referees because he has earned a name for himself.

"It was his first foul and he went straight into the book," said Templeton. "If you watch games closely, you'll see that in every game he takes at least three or four real kicks.

"We're not complaining; that is just

football when you are at this level. But I do feel for Ian because I think it is something that is frustrating him.

"At the time of his booking, we were not playing particularly well and he was trying to get a bit tighter and a bit closer to their players. He isn't the dirty player that people try to make out.

"I have played with him at Hearts and here at Ibrox and he definitely takes a fair bit of treatment on the pitch.

"Yet the minute he commits a foul, it seems to be that his name is straight in the book."

Speaking about his own performance, which saw him open the scoring before seeing his late drive diverted into the net by Harry Monaghan, he said: "I think you are always judged on how many you score when you are at a club like Rangers, so I am just looking to do as well as I can on that front.

"I was a bit lucky with the goals yesterday but all you can do is try to get into the right places and see what happens.

"I'm pleased with how I am doing since I came back from injury and into the team but I still think that there is more to come from me.

"I was out for just over a couple of months with a bad injury but I came back and since then I have played seven games in just three-and-a-half weeks.

"It is a lot, especially when you are playing on artificial surfaces or on pitches that aren't in the best of condition at this time of year."

Meanwhile, Rangers boss Ally McCoist will find out the extent of the ankle injury that resulted in young defender Darren Cole being taken off at Galabank this week.

Elsewhere, both Lee McCulloch and Lewis Macleod are expected to be fit to face Elgin on Saturday.

Rangers assistant manager Kenny McDowall has also confirmed officials at the Ibrox club are at an advanced stage in negotiations with goalkeeper Neil Alexander over a new contract.

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