Steven Gerrard reveals third Covid-related issue for Rangers after Filip Helander and Nathan Patterson miss Betfred Cup win at Falkirk

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard says a third player has joined Filip Helander and Nathan Patterson in being ruled out of action by coronavirus issues.

Steven Gerrard looks on as his Rangers side defeat Falkirk 4-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)

Swedish international defender Helander is self-isolating after returning a positive Covid-19 test which was revealed by Rangers shortly before their Betfred Cup round of 16 tie against Falkirk on Sunday evening.

Teenage right-back Patterson, who had been in line to start the match at the Falkirk Stadium, had already been ruled out after being identified as a close contact of his Scotland under-21 squad mates who tested positive during their recent match in Greece.

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Rangers have been less affected than many clubs by Covid-19 so far this season but Gerrard railed against the suggestion they have been lucky on that front, revealing that a third unnamed player – understood to be a member of the academy squad – was also ruled out of a potential call-up for the 4-0 win over League 1 leaders Falkirk.

"We’ve lost Nathan Patterson and we’ve lost two today, so I’m not sure that’s luck,” said Gerrard.

Asked if the third case was a knock-on effect from Helander’s positive test, he replied: “Yeah, it could be. It could be.”

Helander will now be unavailable for Rangers’ Europa League match against Standard Liege at Ibrox on Thursday night and their Premiership trip to face Ross County in Dingwall next Sunday.

“I haven’t seen Filip with my own eyes since his positive test, but I will speak to him from the bus on the way home,” said Gerrard. “I’ll speak to him in the morning too to get a feeling of how he is, but he’ll be missing for ten days and it’s a blow for us.

“With George Edmundson missing too it leaves us a bit light in the central defensive areas. That’s what Covid can do, so you’ve got to try and guard against it. Hopefully we can get through with the bodies we’ve got.”

Gerrard was delighted with the win at Falkirk as he made seven changes to his starting line-up.

"It was a strong performance, I’m really pleased with the goals we scored and I’m really pleased with the mentality and the professionalism,” he said.

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