Exciting young Rangers right-back Nathan Patterson could get a big chance with the first team at Ross County on Sunday amid injury concerns for his competition.
The 18-year-old made his senior competitive debut in the League Cup against Stranraer in January and has been named on the bench on several occasions since.
However, despite being part of Development and Youth sides who are currently on their own poor run of form, Patterson could find himself back in first-team action this weekend in Dingwall.
That’s because of concerns over the fitness of both the skipper, James Tavernier, and his understudy, Matt Polster.
The former was forced off in the second half of Wednesday night’s shock home defeat to Hamilton after picking up a knock in a 50/50.
74' SUB: Brandon Barker comes on to replace the injured James Tavernier | 0-1
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) March 4, 2020
Meanwhile, Matt Polster hasn’t made a matchday squad since early February, which seems at least in part to be down to a hamstring injury.
Earlier in the week, Steven Gerrard confirmed he’d only be back in training on Friday, suggesting he’s highly unlikely to be fit enough to start against the Staggies.
🤕 An injury update from the manager. pic.twitter.com/P4WKIbDxfI
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) March 3, 2020
That should open the door for Scotland U19 international, Patterson, who thoroughly impressed many Bears on debut.
The manager has the option of playing Jon Flanagan or even of potentially shifting Ryan Jack back into an unfamiliar role.
Yet, the latter is unlikely when avoidable, while Flanagan hasn’t featured since being hooked at half-time in the defeat to Hearts in January, as he looks to have already used up all his chances.
A start for the attack-minded Patterson would bring some much-needed freshness to a Gers side that has collapsed dramatically in domestic competition since the turn of the year.