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Dundee United boss Csaba Laszlo backs himself to keep Bilel Mohsni under control

Bilel Mohsni during his Rangers days.
Bilel Mohsni during his Rangers days.

Dundee United manager Csaba Laszlo insists he will be able to control new recruit Bilel Mohsni.

The then Rangers defender came to worldwide attention – not in a good way – when he clashed with Motherwell striker on the pitch after the Light Blues had been beaten in the promotion play-off final at Fir Park on May 31, 2015.

Once the final whistle had confirmed a 6-1 aggregate victory for the Steelmen, Erwin approached the French-born Tunisian international and pushed him in the back.

It was an unprovoked act and Mohsni retaliated by kicking and punching his opponent, which subsequently earned him a football-wide seven-match ban.

He has spent the time since playing in France with Angers, Paris FC and, most recently, Etoile du Sahel.

He is a free agent and comes on the recommendation of United’s new English-based chief scout Paul Sturrock, who managed him at Southend United.

Laszlo knows all about Mohsni’s chequered past and has even studied footage of the Motherwell incident.

Nevertheless, the United boss, who is poised to hand him his debut away to Queen of the South tonight, is backing himself to keep Mohsni in line.

Laszlo said: “I don’t have a worry because I think I can control him.

“I did tell him that he is someone who made a mistake but deserves to get a new chance.

“He knows this.

“I have watched the video (of the incident) two or three times of the and he made a mistake.

“I told him that, while Motherwell were staying in the Premiership and didn’t have to provoke the other side, he did not have to act like that when someone provoked him.

“What we want is controlled aggression and that’s what we talk about all the time.

“Even if you see the games in the Championship, everybody must be that way.

“If you are a nice boy you are going to lose.

“Paul (Sturrock) and I talked for a long time and he recommended the player to me. This is not a secret.

“He told me: ‘Look, Csaba, if you can control him then he will maybe bring freshness to United.’

“You can also see in training that the player can be positive for the club.

“I also feel that everybody deserves a second chance.

“People make mistakes but if they learn from the mistakes and don’t do it again then that is what is important.”

As for throwing Mohsni straight in at Palmerston, Laszlo said: “He can play in this game and is in our squad.

“He can give us more aggression and he knows the Championship, having played there for Rangers.

“He is a free agent and was keen to come back to Scotland.

“Hopefully, he can help us.

“He plays to the finish and will give us more competition in defence.

“He has been training in France but the game time is not there yet.

“I am not going to say that he can play 90 minutes without any problem but I think he will be good for 60 minutes.”

Also in contention for a place at the heart of defence is the fit-again William Edjenguele but Jordie Briels and Grant Gillespie may be left until Saturday’s home clash with Inverness.

Laszlo is certainly keen to get back playing again, after a string of postponements that have left them with a huge fixture backlog.

He said: “We will be lucky if we can play this game!

“Queen of the South have good players and their striker (Stephen Dobbie) is very good and dangerous.

“It won’t be an easy game but I hope that we are successful in this game. We must be.

“It is about winning the next game, the one coming up, and taking it from there.

“I want a positive reaction.”

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