IN Bob Malcolm’s day, the Rangers dressing room was no place for shrinking violets. Or ‘leeks’, for that matter, as his own humorously misspelled tweet about the fallout from Sunday’s thumping defeat to Celtic laid it out on Tuesday.

The former Ibrox midfielder’s delivery may have been muddled, but the message was loud and clear; what happens in the dressing room should stay in the dressing room.

The 37-year-old has been almost as dismayed by the aftermath of Sunday’s insipid defeat to his club’s greatest rivals as he was by the events on the Hampden field, with club captain Lee Wallace and Kenny Miller subsequently being suspended by the club. And while he says that bust-ups behind the scenes at Rangers are nothing new, that is where they should always stay.

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“There shouldn’t be people going out after a game on a Sunday and sending tweets out or speaking to people about what is happening in the dressing room,” Malcolm said. “It just shouldn’t happen, and it has been happening for years now.

“They need to find out who this is. I honestly don’t think it can be any of the players, but there is definitely someone close to the dressing room doing this, and it’s not nice to see.

“You get arguments in the dressing room after defeats, especially with the manner of the defeat on Sunday. And if you are going to ask questions of the players then they are going to answer back, because everyone is hurting. They are going to bite back, and you have to expect that.

“I can remember Alex McLeish coming in once or twice and having a go, and I can remember being in the reserve team once against Celtic at Ibrox and there was about 40,000 there and we were getting beat at half-time, and Walter Smith came in and went mental. Even though it wasn’t his team, there were first-team players playing, and there were cups flying and all sorts. That was expected, that’s what happened in those days.

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“I know things have changed, but if you can’t take stick for a bad performance from a manager then you shouldn’t be playing the game. Not everything is rosy every week, you are going to have bad times, and it’s about how the team comes through it.

“In our first-team, it was sorted out between ourselves. If somebody had something to say, it would be said, and it would be sorted out in the dressing room either at half-time before we went back out or after the game.

“No-one would leave until everything was sorted and things had been said, and that’s the way it was. On a Monday morning you would come back into training, everything was forgotten about, and you worked hard for each other and go on to the next game. If it has gone over-and-above that, well…

“I know the fans have mixed views. They like Kenny and they like Lee, so it’s a hard one for them, but these sorts of things should be staying in the dressing room.”

Malcolm concedes that Murty does not command the instant respect that the likes of his own managers at Rangers, Walter Smith, Dick Advocaat and Alex McLeish did, but he dismissed suggestions that the players not being behind the interim boss was in any way a reasonable excuse for the level of performance they put in against Celtic.

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“Maybe I’ve been brought up in a different era, and I’m a wee bit old school,” he said. “But you can grind a game out when you aren’t playing well, or even if you do still get beat, you have to put a shift in and give 100%.

“The manager changes so much now that you are not playing for the manager. I know you are playing for a team, but every footballer is playing for their own and their family’s future.

“If you are not playing for the manager, at least go out there and play for yourselves, and if your future doesn’t lie at Rangers, you need to at least go and get the best possible move for yourself.

“I don’t buy into all this stuff about them not playing for the manager, that’s rubbish, because if they have got any ambition then they would go and do it for themselves.

“And go and do it for the fans. The fans go there every week and have put their hands in their pockets for the last six years, turning out home and away in their thousands, so go and do it for them. And I can guarantee you one thing, if you do it for them, then they will love you for it.

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“It didn’t even look like a Rangers team or seem like an Old Firm game on Sunday. I’ve never seen such a one-sided game. I always remember getting told from Bomber (John Brown) that the first tackle in a game was massive, and especially an Old Firm game. I think the first tackle that Graham Dorrans put in was 37 minutes into the game.

“You’ve got to set the standards straight away, and I don’t mean two-footing someone or putting them into the stands, but a hard, fair tackle. I see Scott Brown getting stick every week for hard tackles, but that’s his game and he’s good at it, and that’s why the Celtic fans love him.”

Malcolm also lays blame at the feet of the Rangers chairman Dave King for creating even more uncertainty around the club, and Murty’s position in particular, in the build-up to such a crucial fixture.

“To be fair to Graeme Murty, he’s come into the club and took over the reins when the team was struggling, and he has done well,” he said. “It’s not his fault. I just think that the club should have come out and said what they were doing ages ago.

“If they always knew that Graeme was only getting the job until the end of the season, then tell him that. You can’t just come out a few days before an Old Firm game and say you are expecting a new manager at the end of the season.

“Graeme, the players, the fans, they all needed to know in black and white what the situation was, but they haven’t said anything and let it drag on until just before the Old Firm game, the biggest game of Rangers’ season.

“How does that help anyone?”