Rangers have been handed a double boost ahead of the club’s crunch Boxing Day clash with Hibs at Ibrox after one of the Hibees’ main men saw red against St. Mirren.
Welsh striker Christian Doidge was sent packing in the closing stages of Hibs’ 1-0 win over on-form St. Mirren for a second yellow after an elbow on Ethan Erhahon.
The striker had been booked moments earlier for a foul on Jonathon Obika and the red card came after the Buddies had been reduced to 10-men through the sending off of Brandon Mason.
Doidge’s exit also came after number one keeper and Israeli international Ofir Marciano was subbed off in the first half.
Hibs boss Jack Ross confirmed after that Hibs will “not take any chances” with the keeper and gave his backing to QPR-loanee back-up Dillon Barnes.
The ex-Sunderland and St. Mirren manager also claimed he has “no fears” about posting Barnes in at Ibrox if required.
Despite disputing the second yellow given to Doidge, Ross has also confirmed that the player will miss the trip to Ibrox.
“The first one is deserved, no complaints. The second one, there is no intent – I know there is no intent,” said Ross [Scottish Sun].
“I can understand, potentially, why it’s been given but I would still argue the case.
“But, of course, there’s no chance to appeal anyway.
“He’s been great for me and he gets an enforced rest, which might be good for him because he’s put a lot into the last few weeks.
“I would much rather have him but we’ve got to find a way to win at Ibrox. We adjust that a little bit now.”
The absence of two Hibs first-teamers will act as a sizeable boost for Rangers who are hoping to make it 12 league wins in a row when they face the Hibees at Ibrox.
Hibs are one of only two sides to take points off Rangers this season, Ross’ team earning a 2-2 draw against the Gers back in September.