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Last Updated: Friday, 10 October, 2003, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
McLeish warns troubled Ricksen
Fernando Ricksen
Fernando Ricksen has been a regular on the front pages
Rangers defender Fernando Ricksen has been given a rocket by manager Alex McLeish for his wayward lifestyle.

The Dutchman was on Thursday fined 7,000 for assaulting a neighbour who complained after the footballer let off fireworks in his garden at 5am during a party.

It follows a string of incidents involving the player and McLeish said: "He's been on the front pages three times in a week and that's not good for him and not good for Rangers.

"We would rather have Fernando on the back pages and we have told him that."

Ricksen hit the headlines when he threw Rangers chairman John McClelland into a swimming pool before last week's Champions League match against Panathinaikos in Athens.

Fernando has to take stock and get his life settled down
Rangers boss Alex McLeish
He was also been banned from Netherlands' national team for breaking down a hotel door after a night out.

Earlier this year, fined 500 and banned for 12 months for drink driving and smashing his car into a lamp-post during a time of domestic problems for the footballer.

McLeish believes that Ricksen, who has been banned from talking to the press, has been the victim of hounding from the media and an unfair comparison with another wayward former Ibrox hero, Paul Gascoigne.

"We are not all perfect, but Fernando has to take stock and get his life settled down and inject a bit more stability into it," said the manager.

"His wife, Graciela, is back on the scene, so if she can help add a bit of stability to his life then that can only be a good thing for Rangers."

Ricksen joined Rangers from AZ Alkmaar for 4m in July 2000 and became a regular fixture in the national squad.

"Fernando has to be determined to get back into the Dutch squad as I am sure that Dick Advocaat can use him on the team," said McLeish.

Ricksen is poised to make a comeback after suffering concussion during the Champions League tie against Stuttgart.

McLeish insists that competition for places means Ricksen is not an automatic choice but added: "Fernando was starting to look like a full-back of quality before he took the head knock from Henning Berg."






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