Steven Gerrard is angry that Rangers defender Borna Barisic didn’t do all he could to be ready for this weekend’s match against Celtic, as reported by The Scottish Sun.
The defender was injured on international duty with Croatia in a defeat to Hungary, going for a scan in Zagreb instead of returning straight home to receive treatment from the Rangers physios.
Gerrard believes it was a decision that contributed to his unavailability for today’s trip to Celtic Park, with Andy Halliday having to fill in at left-back instead.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s match to The Scottish Sun, the manager explained his frustration:
Borna is out, but he’s the only one. He’s not available, which is disappointing because he should be available.
Croatia should have sent him straight back. I think the player should have come straight back.
While he had a small chance, I think he should have, but we never got him back till a couple of days late, for whatever reason.
We pay the players’ wages. When players are injured on international duty, they should be sent back on the next available flight, then our medical team can take over.
The countries have got to take responsibility for that.
Clearly Gerrard is fuming with Barisic and it’s not the first time he has publicly chided the Croatian for fitness issues this season.
Back in January he questioned both Barisic’s and Eros Grezda’s ability to cope with the rigours of Scottish football and later that month after a friendly against Helsinki he also singled out the defender for criticism.
Although signed just last summer, there now has to be doubts about his long-term future at the club. If Gerrard feels he cannot rely on the fitness of the player then we may have to look at other options.
What are your thoughts on the future of Borna Barisic at Rangers? Share your thoughts in the comments below…