As a host of Rangers first-teamers headed out on international duty, one of them was teaming up with a reported Ibrox target in Cardiff City’s Ciaron Brown.
Northern Irish centre-back Brown is an international teammate of Ulster captain Steven Davis and alongside the veteran Gers star tasted bitter disappointment during the break.
Brown, 23, was subbed late on as Norn Iron fell to a 2-0 defeat to Switzerland in their first World Cup Qualifying disappointment of the international break.
The side weren’t helped by a nonsense red card for defender Jamal Lewis, who was shown a second yellow for time-wasting by the referee after jeers from the crowd.
That left the Ulsterman hanging on for dear life in their quest to make Qatar 2022 and any hopes were quickly extinguished by Bulgaria in their second match of the October break.
Despite going in front, Ian Baraclough’s side fell to a 2-1 defeat to Bulgaria in Sofia to condemn their campaign and officially make it impossible to reach the tournament in the Middle East.
Brown never got off the bench.
It’s been a bitterly disappointing fortnight for both the Cardiff defender and Rangers star Davo but both will lick their wounds as they return to club duty this week.
Whilst Steven Davis is already strutting his stuff at Ibrox, reports early in the season have linked Steven Gerrard’s side with a move for ex-Livingston defender Ciaron Brown.
The centre-half is in the final year of his deal at English Championship side Cardiff City and according to Give Me Sport the Gers “continue to monitor developments as to his future”.
The 23-year-old defender is currently contracted to the Welsh side until next summer and the report muses over previous pre-contract moves at Ibrox including those for Jack Simpson and Scott Wright.
Rangers’ issues at centre-back so far this season are well-documented and whilst Brown might not be the most glamourous choice, at 23 he still has plenty of room to develop and presents a cost-effective international option.
It’s just a shame that Brown – and plenty of Rangers fans – won’t be enjoying Northern Ireland at next winter’s tournament in Qatar.
Rangers fans have also been sending Steven Davis plaudits after his latest Northern Ireland appearance made yet more Ibrox history.