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Scotland have been 'careless' with Ryan Jack, blasts Gerrard

Major doubt: Ryan Jack has aggravated his knee issue
on Scotland duty, which has angered his club boss Steven Gerrard
Major doubt: Ryan Jack has aggravated his knee issue on Scotland duty, which has angered his club boss Steven Gerrard

By Andy Newport

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has accused the Scotland coaching team of being "careless" with Ryan Jack's fitness.

The Rangers midfielder aggravated an ongoing knee issue after joining up with the international squad last week.

Jack was ruled out of last Friday's defeat by Russia before being sent back to his club ahead of Monday's loss to Belgium.

Gerrard felt the 27-year-old had been overworked by the Scotland coaching staff after doing a double session two days after Rangers' defeat by Celtic.

The former Aberdeen player is now a doubt for his club's Ladbrokes Premiership encounter with Livingston at Ibrox tomorrow.

Gerrard said: "Unfortunately he was asked to do an 11k session two days after an Old Firm, which made his knee flare up.

"So we have had to manage him, he has had to have a couple of procedures since.

"He did a light session with the physio today (Thursday) and we are hoping to get him into training tomorrow.

"I think it's just careless. You should never, ever do 11k two days after playing 90 minutes. That's the education I've had."

Gerrard did not take up his frustration with national team manager Steve Clarke, who was one of the former Liverpool midfielder's coaches at Anfield, leaving it instead to his fitness coach to speak to his Scotland counterpart.

The pair had a much publicised public fall-out earlier this year when Gerrard accused the then Kilmarnock manager of trying to get Jermain Defoe banned after Clarke highlighted what he claimed were inconsistencies in disciplinary action over simulation.

Gerrard added: "Ryan's got a knee issue that he manages and he has done for a long time.

"The SFA are aware of that, their fitness coach is aware of that. I think everyone in Scotland watched the Old Firm and saw Ryan play 90 minutes.

"And then, 48 hours afterwards, he did a double session."

Meanwhile, Scott Brown has praised the reaction of both Celtic and Rangers fans after he was subjected to a taunt over the death of his sister.

A 15-year-old boy was arrested and charged over an incident as Brown boarded the team bus following Celtic's 2-0 win at Ibrox earlier this month.

Brown's younger sister Fiona died from skin cancer in 2008 and the Celtic captain has previously been subjected to other similar comments.

But the 34-year-old was happy to receive an apology from Rangers, amid other support, and vowed to bounce back by focusing on his football.

"They (Rangers) sent an email, so that was lovely of them to actually do that," said the midfielder, who was promoting a new sponsorship deal between energy form Utilita and Celtic Women.

"Fans from both sides were phenomenal to be honest.

"It's not just one incident, it's happened over the last 12 years of my career. It's hard, it's sad and it shouldn't be happening.

"I play football, I play to win. For 90 minutes you can shout and swear at me as much as you want on the park, but don't go into detail off the park like that.

"For me that's finished with. It's about me focusing on football now and continuing winning games.

"People can just shout and say what they want and think it's appropriate, but for me it's just about getting over that and focus on playing football again.

"It's always difficult (not to react) but I don't want to keep talking about that situation."

Brown, whose side travel to Hamilton tomorrow, feels there is a simple reason for the growth in unacceptable abuse over the course of his career.

"That's easy, social media," he said. "Anyone can write what they want.

"Someone sitting in the house that has probably never played sport thinks they will drink a bottle of vodka and then go and write something online. It's easy enough done.

"You are always going to get a bit of stick. For me it's about how you bounce back. You block those people out, you focus on your football and you go out there and prove everyone wrong."

Belfast Telegraph


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