Steven Gerrard has suffered a blow at Rangers this week as the club’s appeal to the SFA regarding the bans handed to Nathan Patterson, Bongani Zungu, Calvin Bassey, Dapo Mebude and Brian Kinnear has been rejected, meaning that all five will be suspended for the next four domestic fixtures.
The Rangers quintet were found guilty of breaching lockdown guidelines as they attended a house party in February and although Rangers’ appeal meant that they could feature in recent fixtures, they will now face a spell on the sidelines after a final decision was made.
Whilst Mebude and Kinnear’s absences won’t affect Rangers too much, as they are on loan at Queen of the South and Annan Athletic respectively, losing Patterson, Zungu and Bassey leaves Gerrard with a worrying lack of squad depth at Ibrox.
Patterson will be especially missed by the Light Blues, as the 19-year-old has been in superb form in recent fixtures and proved himself to be a more than capable replacement for James Tavernier during his injury absence.
Fortunately for Gerrard, the captain made his return to the starting XI in the 1-1 draw with St Johnstone in midweek, but the manager would surely have wanted to have Patterson available to ensure that the returning captain wouldn’t have to feature in every game until the end of the season.
Patterson could end up missing the rest of the campaign through suspension as, if Rangers were to lose in the Scottish Cup against St Johnstone this weekend, then they would only have another three league games to negotiate before the season’s end.
The Scottish under-21 international has won many plaudits with his performances in recent weeks, with Gerrard labelling him “outstanding” and claiming that: “If there’s a better right back in the country on current form I’d like to see it.”
Therefore, to lose Patterson when he is in such good form is undoubtedly a huge blow for Gerrard, and it would be a massive shame if he doesn’t feature again this season.
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