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Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 09:13 GMT 10:13 UK
Muscat eyes fresh start
Australian international defender KevinMuscat
Kevin Muscat has a reputation as a hard man
New Rangers signing Kevin Muscat admits he wants to use his move to Ibrox to wipe the slate clean.

The Australian international earned himself a reputation as a hard man with Crystal Palace and Wolves, as well as the Socceroos.

Muscat, who can play at right-back or in a wide midfield role made the headlines last November with a terrible tackle on France striker Christophe Dugarry.

The reckless challenge, made during a friendly in Sydney, sidelined the Bordeaux star for three months.

Speaking to the Daily Record, Muscat said: "I just want to come into Ibrox with a clean slate and go from there.


I'd grown stale and a bit complacent after five good years with Wolves and I needed a fresh challenge
Kevin Muscat
"I've never been more hungry and I just want to get on with it I don't want to talk about the past.

"I'd grown stale and a bit complacent after five good years with Wolves and I needed a fresh challenge. That's why I left.

"The only thing I've won in football was promotion from the First Division with Crystal Palace and I'm hungry for a lot more than that before I retire."

Muscat's career at Wolves ended on a sour note, with a stupid early sending off in a home defeat to Grimsby in March.

With Wolves leading the race for Division One's second promotion place at the time, manager Dave Jones publicly blamed Muscat for the loss.

Brushes with authority

Former Charlton midfield player Matt Holmes had his top-flight career curtailed by a Muscat challenge in an FA Cup replay at Molineux in February 1998.

Holmes, who is now player-coach with non-league Dorchester Town, needed skin grafts and had to have a metal bolt inserted in his ankle after the clash.

During his time in England, Muscat was a regular visitor to the FA's one-time headquarters at Lancaster Gate, picking up fines for his brushes with authority.

Former Norwich City boss Bruce Rioch was infuriated by a tackle which did not earn Muscat a booking when Craig Bellamy sustained an horrific knee injury in a collision with the Wolves defender in 1998.

Rioch was so upset he clashed with a linesman at Molineux, and after racing on to the pitch to check on his injured player had to be physically restrained by his backroom staff.

Andrei Shevchenko is AC Milan's star striker
AC Milan will visit Ibrox in July
Muscat was the centre of controversy again when midfielder Andy Johnson was sent off playing for Nottingham Forest against Wolves.

He punched Muscat and later declared: "Muscat is a horrible player.

"He kicked me off the ball three times and then elbowed me in the head and I stupidly lost my rag."

Birmingham City's Martin Grainger can be added to the list of those critical of the Aussie.

Grainger once said of Muscat: "He is probably the most hated man in football.

"The bottom line is what goes around comes around. There will be someone nastier who will get him one day."

Grainger's outburst came after a challenge by Muscat on his own Australia team-mate Stan Lazaridis.

Meanwhile, Rangers have announced pre-season friendly dates with AC Milan and Leeds United.

The Italian giants will be at Ibrox on 28 July, while the Yorkshire side arrive on 7 August.

See also:

07 May 02 | Football
17 Mar 02 | Eng Div 1
14 Nov 01 | World Cup 2002
13 Nov 01 | Europe
12 Nov 01 | Wolverhampton Wanderers
Links to more Rangers stories are at the foot of the page.


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