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Will Northern Ireland international be Rangers' makeshift left-back for Old Firm clash?

 

By Andy Newport

Rangers boss Pedro Caixinha could turn to Northern Ireland's Lee Hodson to solve his full-back problems for Saturday's Old Firm showdown.

That's after it was a revealed that the Gers' two recognised left-backs could miss the game through injury.

Skipper Lee Wallace limped off just 12 minutes into Friday night's draw with Partick Thistle after aggravating an old groin injury, and was replaced by new signing Declan John.

But now the on-loan Cardiff defender has revealed he is also carrying a knock and is not certain to start tomorrow night's Betfred Cup quarter-final clash with the Jags.

If both players are unable to shake off their problems it could force Caixinha to put understudy right-back Hodson up against Celtic ace Patrick Roberts when they welcome Brendan Rodgers' rampant Hoops to Ibrox.

However, John insists that if he can prove his fitness, he will be able to handle the derby atmosphere.

Asked if he was ready to replace Wallace, the Wales international said: "Of course, I want to play as many minutes as I can. However, I have got a bit of a niggle as well so we will just have to wait and see."

Rangers missed out on the chance to draw level with Celtic for a few hours as they were held to a 2-2 draw at the Energy Match Stadium.

The slip-up allowed Celtic to open up a five-point lead on their bitter rivals in Saturday's 4-0 rout of Ross County, but John was pleased to have returned to action having found himself out in the cold at Cardiff.

"Seeing Lee go down early, I didn't expect to get a call so early on," said John, whose last first-team appearance for the Bluebirds was in April.

"But I was really happy to get on and I thought I did quite well.

"When you are coming off the bench that early in the game, it is still a bit mad and there are things going on. So to get chucked in early, it is hard to get used to the pace first of all.

"I thought I got there in the end and did pretty well."

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