Hanlon laughs off Sproule’s Ibrox tantrum

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Paul HANLON today laughed off Ivan Sproule’s touchline tantrum at Ibrox as “Ivan being Ivan”.

The Hibs winger furiously tossed aside the tracksuit top he’d been offered as boss Colin Calderwood made a double substitution in a bid to salvage something from the match following what proved to be the only goal of the game from Rangers’ Kyle Lafferty.

While it was hardly in the Carlos Tevez bracket, Sproule’s reaction nevertheless raised a few eyebrows. But today Scotland Under-21 skipper Hanlon insisted the spat was nothing more than evidence of his team-mate’s passion for the game.

He said: “That’s just Ivan all over, he’s passionate about Hibs and about playing football. He was disappointed to come off and it just shows how much he cares.

“That’s just the way Ivan is and you will never change him. Nothing was said afterwards, Ivan cares about Hibs. He was just showing his disappointment and there’s nothing wrong with that.”

Sproule himself made light of the incident, describing it as a daft moment and predicting it would probably earn him a “slap around the head” from Calderwood or his assistant Billy Brown when he reported for training this morning.

The Northern Ireland star said: “I wanted the team to win and I felt that if I could have got in one more time I might have hurt them [Rangers].

“I always feel I can have an impact on a game so it was just me being daft. I didn’t say anything, it was just frustration.

“As football players we sometimes do daft things and there’s no-one dafter than me. It was in the heat of the moment. I was frustrated because I knew we had played well and were close to getting something.”