GARY MCALLISTER reckons Alfredo Morelos’ reputation counted against him after he was sent off for the fourth time this term in the win over Aberdeen.

The striker saw red for his part in an incident with Dons defender Scott McKenna, who was also given his marching orders on a highly-charged night at Pittodrie.

Many Gers supporters believe Morelos has become an easy target for opposition defences and match officials this term and assistant manager McAllister had sympathy with the 22-year-old over his latest dismissal.

McAllister said: “I think his reputation slightly influenced that.

“I have watched it from every angle. There is a wrestling match and two competitive players trying to get the ball.

“The position the pair get into is awkward and I don’t know where Alfredo can put his legs. They’ve gone up and they’re coming down.

“Was there an intentional stamp? I don’t see it.

“The facts are there - he has got previous.

“No player goes onto a pitch looking to be violent - that doesn’t happen.

“But there’s emotion. In moments in games, things happen. But I don’t think there is violence or pre-meditated stuff.

“Age and experience is massive. To continue telling him and repeating and repeating and repeating?

“If you’re young and you get told it over and over again then you should get better. Hopefully.

“It was an awkward position and I don’t see a stamp. I don’t see where his legs can go. Not unless he does the splits.”

Boss Steven Gerrard has repeatedly defended Morelos this term but urged him to control his aggression in the aftermath of his red against Aberdeen.

The Colombian took his tally for the campaign to 23 with a terrific brace in midweek as Rangers kept up the pace with Celtic in the Premiership title race.

Morelos has become the player that opposite supporters love to hate as the Light Blue legions have taken him to their hearts.

And McAllister reckons there are shades of former Leeds and Manchester United hero Eric Cantona in the way the striker operates.

He said: “There was quite a big French lad that came to Leeds who had that sort of thing, I don’t need to talk about him do I?

“I don’t want to equate Alfredo to any other player but there are many who play like that.

“He’s a very competitive player. The physical side is a big part of his game.

“I remember when Wayne Rooney was younger, he got involved when he thought he was on the wrong end of decisions that were made because of his previous.

“So we are working and trying to improve the disciplinary side of his game, but it’s a very fine line,

“Now that we are getting to know him the facts are, we have noticed some little improvements in recent weeks.

“He’s a target. He’s the top scorer in Scotland and defenders are going to try to get close to him.

“That plays into his hands because if it becomes a bit of a wrestling match. I wouldn’t want to take him on.

“We can’t avoid it because part of his game is getting involved and feeling defenders so what he has to try to do is not o over-react when someone gets too close or too aggressive.

“He can’t react. He has to take this close attention as a compliment.”