Rangers’ Steven Gerrard wants international football to continue despite Covid cases

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard
Steven Gerrard says Covid-19 absences are similar to injuries
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow Date: Sat, 17 Oct Kick-off: 12:30 BST
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Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has no problem with players going on international duty during the pandemic – as long as they are kept safe.

Celtic expressed frustration after three of their squad contracted Covid-19 while with their countries.

With Ryan Christie also self-isolating, it means Saturday’s derby opponents will be missing four players.

“Assuming that players can be safe, I want international football to continue,” Gerrard said.

“I remember sitting in the house and there was no football on at all – I was bored out of my mind.

“We know it’s not perfect, but two weeks ago we got a fantastic highlight qualifying against Galatasaray, so I can’t sit here and say European and international football should be cancelled because it might suit my Rangers team.”

Gerrard said clubs have to manage situation as best they can and suggested that Covid-enforced absences should be viewed no differently to standard injuries.

Rangers have had to do without the likes of Ryan Jack, Joe Aribo and Kemar Roofe for that reason in recent games.

“That’s why we try to build squads, so we can cope in these situations,” he said. “We’ve coped extremely well missing three of our important players, arguably three starters.”

Meanwhile, Gerrard is hoping for “a similar performance” to Rangers’ 2-1 win on their last visit to Celtic Park in December as his Scottish Premiership leaders face the reigning champions.

“We know this will be a very tough challenge and we will not be going over-confident, but our results so far have been pretty good,” he added.

“It could have been slightly better, but to get into the Europa League group stage again along with our league performances, it has been a solid start.”

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