Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has confirmed he will have to alter his selection plans for the upcoming League Cup fixture against Falkirk after Nathan Patterson was ruled out [Scotsman].
The 19-year-old has served as James Tavernier’s deputy at right-back this season but due to the captain’s outstanding form and injury-free start to the campaign, he has only received 52 minutes of playing time to date.
That was set to change at the weekend, but Patterson won’t be able to travel to Falkirk with the squad as he’s currently self-isolating after being identified as a close contact of one of the Scotland U21s players to test positive following their fixture against Greece last week.
“It’s a real shame for Nathan,” said Gerrard, as quoted by the Scotsman. “He would definitely have played against Falkirk.”
This blow could scarcely have come at a worse time for Patterson.
Given the importance of Rangers’ domestic and European fixtures and the calibre of opponents faced, he’s understandably only made two appearances so far this season.
However, he’s very much the next in line behind Tavernier and he’s waited patiently for a lower-profile fixture such as the Falkirk tie.
Patterson played the full 90 minutes of a Scottish Cup clash against Stranraer at Ibrox in January and it sounds as though he’d have got another lengthy outing in this one against League One opposition.
Yet, an unforeseen blow has ruled him out, ensuring that his wait for a 2020/21 start is set to go on for some time.
His absence may also be bad news for Falkirk, who are now likely to have to contend with Tavernier, who currently leads the way in the Premiership scoring charts.