KILMARNOCK manager Steve Clarke has responded to Rangers counterpart Steven Gerrard's "personal" assertion that the Rugby Park boss 'lacks class'.

The war of words between the pair started when Clarke hinted that Jermain Defoe should have been sent off for Rangers after celebrating with the crowd after his late goal against Aberdeen, citing officiating consistency as the reason.

Gerrard responded by saying Clarke's comments showed 'a lack of class', and Clarke has hit back accordingly.

"I mentioned the fact that one of our players and another player, I didn't mention the name, were involved in similar incidents and I just asked for consistency of the process," Clarke said.

"I'm a little bit disappointed, obviously, that Steven came back more personal than I had [when I] made the original comment. I made a wide-ranging amount of comments about consistency and I've been consistent in asking for consistency since August.

""If asking for that consistency I have to upset a fellow manager or another club, that's what I have to do because that's my job.

"Class is subjective. I'm 55 years of age. I've got no worries about how I live my life personally or professionally so that doesn't bother me."

The two sides will face each other on Saturday evening in the Scottish Cup and Clarke said he is looking forward to the match.

"It should be a cracker," said Clarke. "It's always nice when you've had a recent victory against one of your top opponents or big opponents."