Rangers defender Nikola Katic has confirmed that he won’t play any part in this weekend’s final day clash with Kilmarnock after being given an extra week off to prepare for the Under 21 European Championships.

Katic has only just recently forced his way back into Steven Gerrard’s starting XI after being pushed out by Joe Worrall but has impressed since returning.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MAY 12: Nikola Katic of Rangers celebrates at the final whistle during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The defender confirmed that he’s been given a training schedule to follow over the summer to prepare for the new campaign – and admitted that he is “optimistic” Croatia can do well when they face England, France and Romania in Italy.

“Gerrard gave me a one more week of rest because of the Euros. As I left I got the work programme from the coach to work on during the summer. But right now the emphasis is on the holiday,” Katic told Sportske, as quoted by the Daily Record.

MOTHERWELL, SCOTLAND - APRIL 07: Nikola Katic of Rangers celebrates at full time during the Ladbrokes Premier League match between Motherwell and Rangers at Fir Park on April 07, 2019 in Motherwell, Scotland.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“We seem to have it tough and it’s a bit of a group of death. But our team is excellent and we showed in qualifying how strong we are. That’s why I am optimistic.”

 

Katic has made 30 appearances, scoring three times, since his move last summer from Slaven Belupo.

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Dayot Upamecano of France and Nikola Katic of Croatia during the International U21 Football Friendly match between France and Croatia on November 15, 2018 in Beauvais, France.

(Photo by Aude Alcover/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

The defender is a big favourite with Gers fans and looks to have a really impressive future ahead of him after excelling in his first season in Scotland.

With a busy summer ahead of him, hopefully, he returns to Ibrox in top condition ahead of the new campaign and can cement a regular starting spot in the side.