RANGERS welcome Ryan Jack into their squad for tomorrow’s trip to Kilmarnock – though Borna Barisic will face a late fitness test to determine if he can take part.
The Light Blues make the trip down the M77 to a venue they won at on the opening day of the season, and ahead of that, boss Steven Gerrard gave an update on his Croatian full-back after he went off injured in Saturday’s Scottish Cup win at Hamilton.
The manager said at this morning’s press conference: “I think he has got an outside chance. He won’t train today, but we are going to give it as long as we possibly can and he will probably have a late fitness test.
“But at the moment, I’d say best-case scenario, he is 50-50 right now. [Ryan Jack] is available which is fantastic news.”
Gerrard knows his side are in for a hard game given Killie’s recent form, and continued: “They are on the back of three decent results now. Alex [Dyer] seems to be turning the corner with them and since we have come in here, our challenges against Kilmarnock have always been tough.
“At the beginning of the season, we managed to get a late goal to win from two set-pieces, and even at home at Ibrox, it was quite a close encounter.
“So we expect nothing different – it will be a good challenge for us. The pitch as well always comes into it down at Kilmarnock so it will be a big challenge for us.
“Kilmarnock against us have always been compact, tried to play deeper and tried to play on the counter attack.”
Gers go into the game off the back of that 4-1 win at Accies at the weekend, with the manager satisfied overall with what his players gave him in that game.
He explained: “I think it was a strong win in the end and a convincing win. I said in the first half it was a little bit too open for my liking as they had another really good chance and we were probably lucky to get away with a penalty situation as well.
“I think from half-time having spoken to the players, there was an improvement in the second half and we went on and won more convincingly. We has some other good chances within the game as well and it was about getting into the next round of the cup which we delivered.
“So I am reasonably happy with the performance.”
The manager was also delighted with midfielder Scott Arfield grabbing a brace in the victory, adding: “We have spoken on a few occasions over my time about not having the burden on certain individuals all the time, and it is very important that the goals are shared out.
“It is nice to see centre-backs contributing from set-pieces and midfielders joining in and number 10s too – Ryan [Kent’s] numbers are a lot better than last season.
“So if we can get that collectively around the group, we are going to win more football matches and give ourselves a better chance.”