Stevie finally opens up on Niko Katic – and it isn’t good

Stevie finally opens up on Niko Katic – and it isn’t good
Football - 2019 / 2020 UEFA Europa League - Round of Sixteen, First Leg: Rangers vs. Bayer 04 Leverkusen Nikola Katic of Rangers before the match, at Ibrox Stadium, Glasgow. COLORSPORT/BRUCE WHITE PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK

Steven Gerrard has finally addressed the Niko Katic speculation of recent days, and failed to outright confirm his future at Ibrox.

The boss was talking during his pre-Alashkert presser, when he admitted Katic was effectively bottom of the pile at the club and wouldn’t be getting a pathway back any time soon.

He said:

“We’ve had conversations with Niko in the last few days. He played a B team game and came through around 70 minutes, which is positive news. We’re having discussions with Niko now to find the best solution for him in the coming months. He needs to play football. I can’t guarantee him those games at the moment so we are trying to find the right solution for the boy in the short term. Now it’s about how we can get him a certain amount of games to get him right up to speed and to the best place he can be in. Because there’s no getting away from it, it takes time to get back from that level of injury.”

For one, this definitely confirms categorically that Jack Simpson is ahead of Katic in the pecking order, in case fans were in any doubt. Gerrard talks about it taking time, and while he’s not wrong, if he wanted Katic back in the squad, he’d be there. The lad is physically fit, just not fully match fit, and Jack Simpson, ahead of him in the priority list, has only made a grand total of 8 appearances including 5 starts since January. It’s hardly like he’s at the peak of physical prowess in terms of match fitness either.

But it’s the next bit which probably reveals the truth:

“In terms of people putting two and two together and writing his future off at Ibrox and saying he’s not in the plans or going to be sold, I think that’s wide of the mark.”

‘I think’. If ever a rebuttal was said with less conviction that would be it. The use of ‘I think’ strongly dilutes any assurance he gives otherwise.

Rangers fans best accept Katic has only a slim chance of ever being a success at this club, he’s lost a year and the last time a player lost that kind of time (Jamie Murphy), his career at the club was well and truly over.

We want him to defy all of this and be the player he can be, but we have massive doubts he’ll be given that chance.

But maybe we’ll be wrong. We do love the boy.

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