Dorin Goian, the Romanian defender, has claimed Rangers' run of poor form has coincided with referees not giving them any 50-50 decisions.

He believes he should not have been suspended for last week's Old Firm game, which he missed after collecting two bookings for jersey-tugging in his previous appearance against St Mirren.

Goian will return to face Motherwell at Ibrox this afternoon, but he says other close decisions have also gone against Rangers in recent weeks.

Goian admitted that Rangers were at fault for allowing a 15-point lead over Celtic to disintegrate into a two-point deficit, but he also pointed the finger at referees. "In the last few games we have played I have noticed that all the decisions which are half-and-half have gone against us," he said. "That is only a comparison to the way it was at the beginning of the championship. In the last month, the half-and-half decisions have not gone our way. That's my opinion.

"Sure, it's our fault we are not top of the league any more. We were first and now we are second. But this is what I have noticed in a couple of games, although it is true that our form is not as we wish."

Goian was denied the chance to appear in his first Parkhead Old Firm game when referee Steven McLean twice booked him for pulling an opponent's shirt. "I don't think I deserved the second yellow card," said the 31-year-old. "The first booking was okay, but not the second. I didn't think he should have given me a yellow card for what I did. I have been here in Scotland for a couple of months and I've seen many bad injuries but sometimes the referees don't whistle for fouls. So to give me a second yellow card for my second foul, I don't understand. Listen, if the referee decides it is then okay, I respect him. But I was very surprised by the second yellow card. I wasn't the last defender or anything like that."

Goian was a regular as Rangers lost form during November and December but said he was confident they could put Celtic under renewed pressure.

"It is true at this moment that, mentally, we are not very well. But I think we need to beat Motherwell and after that everything will be okay. We just have to rediscover our confidence because it's missing at this moment.

"Our last few results have been disappointing and we know we have not played good games. [But] Celtic won nine games in a row and we can do that."