Rangers are priority for Gerrard, not punishing players, says Ally McCoist

ALly McCoist was BT Sports pundit (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)ALly McCoist was BT Sports pundit (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
ALly McCoist was BT Sports pundit (Photo by Alan Harvey / SNS Group)
Ally McCoist thinks Nathan Patterson, Bongani Zungu and Calvin Bassey are ‘lucky boys’ to have been included in Steven Gerrard’s Europa League plans against Royal Antwerp.

But the former Ibrox boss was one of many left open-mouthed at the redemption storyline as the Scotland youth international fired the second goal in the 5-2 win to see Rangers through 9-5 on aggregate.

And McCoist says the tough call for the manager paid off 17 seconds into the second half – “as substitutions go as a manager that might be one of the better ones” – with Patterson finding the net a week after being named one of five players to breach COVID gathering rules and missing the first leg through isolation.

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He added: "You couldn’t make it up, a very lucky boy to get on the bench – and then Balogun has one or two problems in the last 15 minutes of the first half and Steven Gerrard makes the substitution.

“When you’re a manager you can question is it the right thing to do? Should boys be punished? But Steven Gerrard's priority is to do what is best for Rangers Football club and the best thing for Rangers football club moving forward, he has felt was to put those boys on the bench and tonight it absolutely worked for him.”

Gerrard congratulated the teenager at full-time as he left the pitch with a fist pump, a word in his ear and a playful pat on the head, and McCoist joked: "I hope it was a slap on the head, a well done and ‘you’re going straight home tonight – nowhere but straight home’.”

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