Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has accused his Scotland counterpart Steve Clarke of lacking respect by putting Ryan Jack through a double training session which aggravated the player’s long-standing knee problem.
Jack, who was subsequently forced to withdraw from the Scotland squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia and Belgium, is now doubtful for Rangers’ return to
Premiership action against Livingston at Ibrox on Saturday.
A clearly irked Gerrard has expressed his disbelief at the Scotland coaching and medical staff including Jack fully in two training sessions just two days after he played in the Old Firm match at Ibrox on 1 September.
Jack himself has not escaped the brunt of his manager’s frustration with Gerrard revealing he is still “too annoyed” to speak to the 27-year-old about it.
Gerrard accepts the onus is on international coaches to maximise the limited time they get to work with their players but insists there is also a duty of care towards them.
“The respect has got to go two ways,” said Gerrard. “I have never been an international coach and I totally understand they want to get as many sessions in as they can.
“But I don’t think that is the right care for a player who has just played 90 minutes in an Old Firm game and is drained physically and mentally.
“You do not do a double session two days after any game. It’s just careless. I would never do that. That’s the education I’ve had. Ryan has a knee issue that he manages and has done for a long time.
“The Scottish FA are aware of that. They saw him play 90 minutes in an Old Firm game and then 48 hours later, he was involved in an 11k double
“I haven’t spoken to Steve Clarke about it. I haven’t spoken to Ryan about it – I am too annoyed to speak to him about it. Listen, I’m very proud when my players get international call-ups. When Joe Aribo scored on his debut for Nigeria this week, I was sitting at home smiling, trying to find highlights of the goal.
“I watched Scotland against Belgium and wanted Scotland to win. I am part of Scottish football now and I want to help in any way I can.
“But when I get the email through to say Ryan Jack has dropped out of the squad because he has had two training sessions on the second day of recovery, I couldn’t believe it. It was total shock.
“We pass the players over to their countries and it is their responsibility.
“We are not involved in what they do but we do ask for due care. I don’t think that is too much to ask for.”