DANIEL Candeias took a page out of the Mario Balotelli playbook yesterday when the Rangers winger admitted there are times when he thinks why it is always him who seems to end up on the wrong end of debatable refereeing decisions.

The Portuguese winger met the media ahead of tonight’s meeting with Aberdeen at Ibrox, having been told in no uncertain terms by his manager – both in isolation and among the rest of the group – that the club’s habit of picking up red cards must come to an end.

With seven players sent packing already this season, Rangers have had more players dismissed than any other team in Scotland. In contrast to the flamboyant Italian who milked his martyr status by displaying a T-shirt in his goal celebrations proclaiming ‘Why Always Me?’ Candeias – given his marching orders in debatable circumstances for accumulating two bookings against both St Mirren and Villarreal in recent times – is determined to “forget” the red cards and get on with the football.

“Does part of me think ‘why me again?’ Yes, I do think about it,” said Candeias. “But just after the [Villarreal] game, a day later I had started to focus on the Hearts game, because it was the next one. And now I am focusing on Aberdeen which is another big game.

“I still don’t know what happened against St Mirren,” he added. “It was just the decision of the referee and okay sometimes you don’t believe this decision but it is the decision of the referee. I just need to forget the red cards now.

“The gaffer talked this morning with the team and spoke to me after the red cards. He told me to forget the red cards and focus on the game because this is a really hard month for the team.”

While the madness of Scottish football somehow seems to suit Candeias’ game, 2018 finds his name occurring regularly in referee’s notebooks. In all he has seven yellow cards and two red to his name already this season, having got through the previous campaign with just four cautions.

As much as he wears his heart on his sleeve, he insists he wasn’t a regular offender in the Portuguese league before he came here either.

“I had only been sent off once before I came here, but now it is two times this season already,” he said. “That is too much for me but all the players understood that is time to forget the cards now.

“I always play with passion, that is my style for football,” he added. “I started in Porto, and in Portugal all the players have a lot of passion.

“Here it is the same. It is a big club with great supporters and I am very happy to play for this club.

“I like the football here, the intensity, this year I think there is more quality and I am very happy. This for me is the best kind of football for my style of play. How the game is refereed is different in all the countries. But I don’t want to say anything about the referees. My focus is on my team and the game.”

He might have been brought to Glasgow by Pedro Caixinha, but like every other member of the Rangers squad, Candeias eulogises about the difference which Steven Gerrard has brought to the group. “What difference has the manager made? The difference is the group. This year I think we have a great group, the atmosphere in the dressing room is fantastic. When it is like this, the results just come.”