DOUBLE TROUBLE; Randolph Relishing a Reunion with His 'Twin' Bougherra as He Chases Cup Glory with Well

Article excerpt

Byline: Graeme Croser

RANGERS v MOTHERWELL

3pm, BBC1 Scotland

DARREN RANDOLPH has never set foot inside Hampden but the Motherwell goalkeeper can count on the company of his 'twin' to keep things relatively familiar at the national stadium today.

While at former club Charlton Athletic, Randolph was a teammate of Rangers defender Madjid Bougherra and the pair's similar appearances, from the neck up at least, led to them acquiring a familial nickname.

'We used to get called the twins,' laughed Randolph as he looked forward to this afternoon's Co-operative Insurance Cup semifinal.

'I think it was all in the head -- we've both got big heads and no hair!

'When I saw Madjid before we played at Ibrox earlier in the season, it was the first thing he mentioned to me.' Although the two will start today's match at opposite ends of the field, Randolph knows the chances are he will see plenty of Bougherra throughout the 90 minutes, courtesy of the Algerian internationalist's penchant for charging upfield with the ball at his feet.

Randolph eventually became used to Bougherra's cavalier style of play at Charlton but admits it does lead to plenty of nervy moments for his team-mates, and not least the goalkeeper behind him.

Neil Alexander will be the one hoping Bougherra doesn't leave him too exposed this afternoon but Randolph knows that for all the defender's undoubted quality, he always gives forwards a chance courtesy of his risk-taking streak.

'Madjid was exactly the same at Charlton -- charging forward, doing step-overs, flicking the ball over people's heads, the lot,' continued Randolph.

'Sometimes that didn't go down too well with our manager, Alan Pardew, who warned he'd get what was coming to him. But you have to get used to it because it's just who he is.

'It was a bit unnerving as a keeper because you didn't know what was going to happen. When it came off it was good, but hopefully on Sunday it won't and he'll give us the ball and we'll score.' Randolph believes Bougherra could play at a level higher than the SPL, an opinion backed up by the player's performances for Rangers in the Champions League and for Algeria at the World Cup in South Africa last summer.

'Madjid is a character -- a very good guy and a funny guy,' said Randolph. 'He's done well up here but he was unlucky at Charlton. I knew about him even before he got to Charlton because he was at Sheffield Wednesday and had done well there.

'For whatever reason, it didn't work out for him at Charlton and he came up here. He is very quick, strong and obviously good on the ball. He is also a good defender, which you saw in the World Cup. He could definitely move on to a higher level. …