Steve Clarke has effectively defended Steven Gerrard’s stance on Ryan Jack, following the Scotland manager’s conciliatory tone after the Rangers boss famously condemned the national regime for their ‘careless’ handling of Ryan Jack.
Clarke recalled Rangers’ midfielder, but failed disappointingly to pay due care and attention to his ongoing knee issue, and made him carry out extra sessions along with others, when there is a bilateral agreement in place over how Jack is to be managed by the NT taking his injury concerns into consideration.
The ex-Killie chief said:
“I understand Steven’s point of view. You send a player to an international camp and he comes back injured. Ryan deserved his call-up and he deserves to be in again. It was probably a lack of communication and we have to work on that. Within our staff we have to make sure we address all the issues and hopefully it won’t happen again. I have not spoken to Steven. He said what he said. I will speak to Ryan in the camp this week.”
While not an overt apology to Gerrard, it comes close, and for once we at Ibrox Noise can give the national team manager some credit for being big enough and man enough to effectively admit Rangers’ manager was right and he (Clarke) got it wrong on this occasion.
While we’re hardly the former Chelsea assistant’s biggest fans here, we can at least see this comment for the first attempt he’s made to extend olive branches to others and concede ground rather than blaming everyone else and playing the victim.
It’s an important step in a potential improvement in the relationship between he, Scotland and Rangers.