Niko Katic claims he could have made Rangers difference as departed defender predicts Ibrox return

Niko Katic has claimed he could have helped alleviate the current defensive issues at Rangers had he not been sold during the summer transfer window.

The Croatian centre-back ended his four-year spell at Ibrox last month when he completed a permanent transfer to Swiss side FC Zurich for an undisclosed fee.

His departure followed a long spell on the sidelines recovering from an ACL injury, and he believes that he did not get a chance to prove himself under Giovanni van Bronckhorst after returning to full fitness following a loan spell with Hadjuk Split.

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Rangers have conceded eight goals in their past two games - losing 4-0 to both Celtic and Ajax and have fallen five points behind in the Scottish Premiership title race.

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Katic is certain he could have made a difference, telling The Athletic: "It’s nothing bad but I felt I didn’t get a chance as we didn’t communicate. I asked his coaches whether they could walk me through their requests and what they expect from their defenders, but I didn’t think they were that interested and I never got that information.

"I played three 45 minutes in pre-season and I was happy with how I did. I made one bad pass against Sunderland but it wasn’t anything big. I expected to play against West Ham and Tottenham at Ibrox and was hoping everyone would be looking at me again, but I was the only defender who didn’t play.

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"I was really disappointed, so I went to his office and asked him to just tell me what was going on as I didn’t think I deserved that after getting injured and trying to get back to help Rangers. If I played bad then fair enough, but at least give me a chance.

"He said he liked a different type of defender. I’m not Messi but I see the defenders doing typical defender things, not anything special or making the last pass. If someone is Virgil van Dijk then fair enough, but it is hard to watch the numbers of goals they are conceding right now as I believe I could have helped — especially with the goals from set pieces."

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Niko Katic feels he never got a chance at Rangers under Giovanni van Bronckhorst. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Katic also revealed a conversation he had with the club's sporting director before his exit where he predicted his Ibrox return in the not too distant future.

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He added: "I will always have a connection to Rangers. I said to Ross Wilson on my last day that I’ll see him in two years when he buys me back!

"Rangers has shaped me as a person so I will follow every game still and Borna [Barisic] is one of my best friends.

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“I still think I could help the club but the manager had a different opinion and I respect his decision. That’s football.”



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