Nikola Katic dropped even though he hasn’t put a foot wrong
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Nikola Katic dropped even though he hasn’t put a foot wrong

When Rangers started the season on blistering form, so much of it was down to the defensive partnership at the back. Katic and Goldson have been our strongest pairing since Goian and Bocanegra. Yet we saw Nikola Katic dropped at the weekend.

It’s the second time the solid Croatian centre back has been out the team. The other? The 2-2 draw with Villarreal away. That must’ve been a sore one for the Croatian to take. Yet he has only ever come across as committed to Rangers and determined to achieve.

Changing the back line paid off that night in Spain, but against Livingston we missed the commanding presence of the 21-year-old. Surely now we must revert to type for this week’s massive games?

Nikola Katic had scored against Ayr United in midweek. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Important to get players gametime but dangerous to tinker

Joe Worrall is obviously a good player. He’s highly rated down south, people are talking about millions for his services and he’s a vocal, commanding presence on the field.

Yesterday however he seemed to be more vocal than responsible. Connor Goldson is Rangers backline General and it seemed at times Worrall was shouting more than doing.

Goldson and Katic have been superb for Rangers. Whilst Worrall’s leadership and organisation are apparently key parts of his game, he has to earn his place first. He had a job to follow yesterday. Instead he was shouting a lot of hot air in people’s faces. It helped no one. He’s certainly not all there yet.

It’s important players get game-time and their match fitness up, but we also need consistency.

Worrall cut a frustrated, angry figure at times against Livingston. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

There were four changes from the last Scottish Premiership game against St. Johnstone. Eight from the Ayr game on Wednesday.

It’s complacent and arrogant to think we could manage such an overhaul against Livingston. We deserved to get beat. It was good to see Gerrard take responsibility for the result.

Katic a key man in Rangers backline

Seeing Nikola Katic dropped and then getting a poor result isn’t a coincidence. It isn’t the deciding factor either, but Katic and Goldson offer solidity, organisation, understanding and confidence in defence.

Going ahead against Hearts and Rapid Vienna, Rangers really must find that consistency again.

It starts by reinstating Nikola Katic alongside Connor Goldson.

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