STEVEN GERRARD has accused Kilmarnock boss Steve Clarke of lacking class and trying to get Rangers striker Jermain Defoe punished by the Scottish FA.

Clarke claimed he wanted Compliance Officer Clare Whyte to ‘do her job’ and called for ‘consistency’ in a veiled reference to the second penalty that Defoe won against St Mirren on Saturday.

Killie forward Jordan Jones was hit with a two-game ban for diving earlier in the season and Clarke stated he was looking ‘forward to seeing what happens this week’.

But Gerrard has angrily hit back at his former Liverpool coach, who he will go head-to-head with when Rangers travel to Rugby Park in the Scottish Cup this weekend.

READ MORE: "The Rangers game against Aberdeen is must-win - we can't afford to drop any more points"

Gerrard said: “I’m surprised by Steve’s comments and disappointed by them as well. I think it lacks class when you try and get an opposition player banned for two games when you’re about to play them in two games’ time.

“We played Kilmarnock there on the astroturf and there was a clear red card on Ryan Jack right in front of us and I purposely didn’t mention it in the media out of respect for Steve Clarke and Kilmarnock and also out of respect for the player who was involved in the tackle. So I’m very disappointed that he’s trying to get one of my players banned.

“That’s not Steve Clarke or the Steve Clarke I know. He is always a man who carries himself with class. I’m disappointed by his comments.

“I think the two situations (Defoe and Jones) are completely different in my opinion. I don’t think Jermain Defoe’s was a penalty. I can understand the comments, not just from him, from the pundits too.

“Pundits are paid to give comments. I have been there. You have got to give comments and it’s your opinion. I respect that.

READ MORE: Rangers boss Steven Gerrard relishing Pittodrie clash with Aberdeen

“But for an opposition manager to comment on a game that has got nothing to do with him to try and get one of my players banned is where the frustration comes in for me.

“I think the referee got three out of the four decisions right on the day. But that particular incident? I don’t think it was a penalty.

“But none of my players tried to appeal for a penalty. Jermain tried to jump straight back up. We didn’t give the decision, the referee gave the decision.

“If Steve Clarke has got a problem he should be speaking about the official and not trying to get one of my players banned.”

Referee Andrew Dallas has come under fire in recent days for awarding Rangers four penalties in their Ibrox win over the Buddies and debate has raged about his decision making.

The criticism comes just weeks after John Beaton was at the centre of the storm following the Gers’ Old Firm win and Gerrard believes there has been too much focus on officials recently.

READ MORE: Scott Brown willing to take blame for Ibrox defeat

He said: “We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago in Perth and Steve Clarke was the only top flight manager who wasn’t there in the meeting.

“We all had an agreement around the table that we would try and show officials more respect and not try and get caught up talking about them in the media.

“We have to respect their livelihoods and their families and them being able to go to supermarkets and get on with their lives after they have maybe made a mistake in certain games.

“I am buying into that. I want to show the officials more respect and understand that they are human and that make mistakes.

“We as managers and coaches make mistakes every game, the players do the same. So it’s no surprise that referees do from time to time.

“We all bought in to that around the table. But Steve Clarke wasn’t at the meeting. So maybe that’s the reason why he’s trying to put more pressure on Andrew Dallas.”

Read more of today's top sport stories.